Pat Byrne is an Irish artist based in County Laois. He graduated in 2015 from the National
College of Art and Design, Dublin with an MFA in painting. Prior to this he graduated with a
BA Honours Degree in Fine Art from Galway – Mayo Institute of Technology in 2010. Recent
exhibitions include The Soul Noir Festival of the Dark Arts, Dublin at which he received the
Best Emerging Artist Award, Myth & Lore at Styx, London, To Catch a Certain Fortune at
Birr Arts Festival, and Beneath the Dock Leaf at the Dunamaise Arts Centre.
About the Work
Pat Byrne’s practice explores superstitions and folklore as he takes mythological humanoids
and fairies and attempts to portray them in a more realistic and contemporary fashion through
oil paintings, wanting to render them as somebody who could possibly pass us by on the
street. Superstitions have always held a core place in Irish culture but as time progresses the
mischievous and malevolent spirits that once occupied the spoken word and imagination are
being forgotten only to be seen as figures of parody. The lack of faith and interest in this
make-believe world is something that he felt reflects the current economic climate in Ireland
with so many people unemployed and no structure to their daily lives, figures of folklore are
effectively in the same situation and on the mythological dole queue simply living out a life of ennui.