James Gorry recalls the unique life and work of semi-reclusive painter Jeremiah Hoad, who quietly pursued his ‘gentle art’
Jeremiah Hoad (1924-1999) was a uniquely original painter, whose semi-reclusive lifestyle and lack of interest in material things contributed to the fact that his name in Irish art circles is not as well-known as many of his contemporaries, yet there remains a loyal and appreciative group of art lovers and collectors who recognise his importance. I knew Jerry and his wife, Judith, a writer, for many years and was privileged to act as his agent and gallerist until his death in 1999. I always enjoy creative ‘left-thinking’ people – be they in art, politics or society in general – and Hoad fitted the bill in spades. He gloried in the planet earth, with the present-day landscape sometimes transformed into a spiritual vision of it before mankind. In his paintings, houses were sometimes removed and figures were rarely introduced in a portrayal of the earth without contamination, pollution and consumer capitalism. In 1995, he and Judith stayed at the Rainbow Camp, Fintown, Donegal, living in a wigwam to show support for Native Americans and other ethnic races in danger of extinction.
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