Joe Hanly is interested in the notion that there might be an aesthetic faculty innate within everyone which is crucial to our navigation of the world we inhabit. His paintings and prints, essentially abstract, comprise a diverse array of unrelated, self-contained components, often representational, drawn from the everyday paraphernalia of living, dreaming, memories and encounters. He experiments with the fraught relationships of different materials paint, found objects, photographic images and the occasional three-dimensional form, testing the limitations for coherence and ambiguity.
If, per chance, from a cross-section of someone’s thoughts at a given moment in time, one could take the contents of such reflections and lay them out for inspection, the potential diversity of unrelated items being considered here could be particularly striking. From an item of news on radio to a spider in the corner, from an itch on the nose to a plane passing over and from planning a revolution to a piece of fluff, from a chair to a cough etc, each entity, momentarily, commanding equal attention in that conscious space, as it operates independently within its own trajectory.
It is from this kind of dynamic that much of Joe Hanly's work is informed and generated in which objects, ideas and anything that falls within a capacity for human reflection, concrete or otherwise, can become legitimate formal devices in improbable abstract arrangements seeking to stimulate new readings out of unanticipated associations.
“Despite creating works overtly characterized by the diversity of their content, there is a type of 'universality' suggested by Hanly's strategies - a universality that is nevertheless grounded in the expectation of endless difference”
- Declan Long, 2012
Joe Hanly (b. 1952, Dublin) is a painter, printmaker and occasional installation artist living in Dublin who has exhibited extensively throughout Ireland since early 1980s with solo exhibitions in such venues as Project Arts Centre, Limerick City Gallery, The RHA Gallagher Gallery, Butler Gallery Kilkenny, Model Arts Centre and as well as Temple Bar Gallery + Studios and his work is included in many private and public collections. He lectured in Fine Art, at the Dublin Institute of Technology from 1984 until retirement in 2014 and at Dun Laoghaire School of Art and Design from 1981 until 1984. He cofounded No9 Screenprint Workshop in 1977 and was a founding member of Temple Bar Gallery + Studios in 1983 where he set up The Print Studio at TBG+S. Recent exhibitions, included One of its legs is both the same, an exhibition of paintings at The Dock, Carrick-On-Shannon, Co Leitrim and TREE, an inverted tree hanging down through the Atrium of Temple Bar in Gallery + Studios, Dublin in 2018. He also curated and participated in DISRUPTORS an exhibition of artists around another one of Joe’s inverted trees at the Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda in May 2019.