In 1975 I was doing an art foundation course and so off we all went one day to That London to look at their pictures in their art galleries, which meant that I also spent some time in gallery bookshops. In one, I forget which, I saw a copy of Celtia, a collection of works by Jim FitzPatrick, an Irish artist whose work I vaguely knew from the cover of Planxty’s album The Well Below the Valley.
I fell in love with the book at first sight and just had to buy it, for the then enormous sum of £2.50 – this was 1975, remember, when a pint was 20p and I was earning £1 per hour doing casual work on a farm, so it equates to about £20-£25 in today’s money. The influence of the Book of Kells is so obvious it hardly needs to be mentioned.
Over the years I’ve picked up other things by Jim FitzPatrick. Here are three books, one bought new in Dublin, another in Blackburn and the other from eBay.
I have also found greetings cards with designs by him, picked up in ones and twos.
My prize buy was a portfolio of prints, the first one of which has been signed by the artist.
And of course, there are a couple of posters, which I think I bought in Bray and I expect I’ll get around to framing one day.
Here is a link to Mr FitzPatrick’s officialwebsite. Also, his newer flickr site. He has done other, equally interesting work, which is well worth a look.