Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) is delighted to present the Sean Fingleton Collection – Work on Loan. It consists of oil paintings executed between 1986-2000 that feature scenes from Letterkenny and Donegal, dramatic landscapes and seascapes and expressionist portrayals of life within nature. These paintings have been installed in the college to be enjoyed by staff, students and visitors; a thoroughly welcome addition. The collection will be launched on Thursday, 3 October, at 6 pm and all are welcome to attend.
Sean Fingleton studied art at the college (then Letterkenny RTC). It was important to the artist that his work has a presence here: ‘It is meaningful that these works are in Letterkenny. I have a fondness for the college, the town, and the county. I also have a following in Donegal that I felt could be served by this loan’. Fingleton remembers the relaxed atmosphere of the college with affection; ‘it was a friendly place. It laid the ground work for my art career and all my later work. I had a strong mentor in Eddie O’Kane. He taught analytic drawing and working from the model. We could work from long poses and really work extensively. I was also inspired by Declan McGonagle and he was encouraging’. Paul Hannigan, President of LYIT, remarked: ‘The presence of the Sean Fingleton Collection – Work on Loan is of great importance to LYIT. It highlights the work of a leading Irish artist and key exponent in the landscape tradition. It also highlights the importance of the Institute as a memorable foundation in the career of Sean Fingleton and its legacy potential for all its students.’
Marianne O’Kane Boal, art critic, has written: ‘Sean Fingleton has long been one of Ireland’s leading landscapists. He has forged a path within the Irish art tradition that is uniquely his own and inspired by his natural surroundings. He has a sculptural approach to the application of paint, investing physical vigour in building surfaces with a palette knife’. Sean Fingleton has commented: ‘a landscape is a scene to inhabit. My thoughts, experiences, senses, emotions and philosophy are poured into the given space I am painting’. He articulates ‘visual statements in paint, moments in being that cannot be expressed in words’.
‘Sean Fingleton’s impassioned landscape studies…are distinguished by their fierce honesty. They are also high-risk performances and Fingleton sets out to deal unambiguously with the clamorous here-and-now of the landscape flinging itself against the senses’ – Aidan Dunne