Artist in Profile: John Maher

Half Remembered Images of Ringsend

The Pendula series of paintings are the latest works from artist John Maher. They are a representation of time and space and are a product of a reflective stage in his dynamic life. He is described as a thematic artist with his views on philosophy, religion, literature and his interest in mythology and iconography forming the unifying thread in his collections.

Hailing from Ringsend, his artwork has taken him all over the world with exhibitions in Ghana and France, he has shown in the Cut and the Goldsmith Galleries, both in London and on two occasions he has had exhibitions hosted by the UN in Geneva.

John is closely acquainted with controversial Irish politician and academic, Dr Conor Cruise-O’Brien, who publicly acclaimed his work. When speaking about John’s work Dr Cruise O’Brien remarked, “It is an extraordinary example of a case in which an artist’s power of intuition confer on him insight into what is about to happen.” John told NewsFour that he begins by making a mark on the canvas; he then lets the image paint itself. “It is in this way that I paint my way into the future,” he said.

John’s artistic talent is not confined to painting. He is surrounded by a number of musical instruments. He describes music as his, “throw away art”. His latest stray however is writing. His debut poem, Half Remembered Images of Ringsend is as the title suggests, a look back on a remarkable life that began 74 years ago in no 22 Fitzwilliam Quay. Named after an earlier series of paintings featuring various distortions of Ringsend Bridge.

The second stanza reads:
“Ringsend, a village then, the wet rim of a sodden city, water ever in endless wave.
Grand Canal, Royal Canal, Dublin bay’s broad horizon, the red Poolbeg lighthouse.
With a river flowing across the country’s fresh green pastures into the Liffey,
Rivers Dodder and Poddle, their names waiting for Joycean jokes passed down.”
John is currently working on his biography and revealed to NewsFour, “I have had a wonderful life, met some remarkable people and travelled the globe. But I never cease to be that kid from Ringsend.

Photo of John Maher by Maria Shields O’Kelly

By Maria Shields O’Kelly