Merit Award 2016

Gerry Davis

Gerry Davis

Merit Award

Born in Tipperary, Gerry Davis completed a BA in Fine Art (Painting) at Limerick School of Art & Design in 2009 and now works in Limerick. He primarily works in paint, making work on a variety of scales.

In his representational figurative paintings in oil on canvas and board the familiar is often rendered strange. A large body of work made from 2016 to 2017 focused on artists’ workspaces, particularly Wickham Street Studios in Limerick, where he was a studio member, and was exhibited in two solo shows, Canvas (Source Arts Centre, Thurles, 2017) and Studio (Pallas Projects, Dublin, 2016). These works began to reflect on the socio-economic difficulties that face practising artists in Ireland. While making the paintings he noted that many studio artists were absent from their workspaces for prolonged periods of time (presumably as they worked other jobs to earn the money required to support their practices). This absence of activity became the most interesting and curious facet of the work and the pictures he made as part of this series are completely de-populated aside from the incidental pieces of furniture and arrangements of functional objects (tools, brushes, wastepaper bins) that occupy these empty spaces.

Gerry Davis applied for a Golden Fleece Award to further an ambitious body of work relating to the depiction of artists’ workspaces. Funding would make his practice more sustainable by contributing towards production costs – materials, canvas, etc. – as well as going towards the cost of framing and transporting work for exhibition.