John Sheehy

Long Gone, 2005

Long Gone
Oil on unstretched canvas
218 x 179.5 cm

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About the artwork

Sheehy, who lives and works in London, began painting at the age of 51. Over the past 18 years, he has produced a vast body of work that also includes printmaking, ceramics, and sculpture in addition to playwriting, poetry, and music. While in formal terms, his paintings range between portraits, landscapes and the purely abstract, they often foreground personal or biographical recollections, evoking the artist’s travels and his native Ireland.

Sheehy frequently returns to vernacular subjects that may appear folksy – donkeys, sailing ships, closely terraced houses, and chimney sweeps – but when repeated across numerous works they become talismanic. Subjects may be rendered again and again over a period of weeks or months, only to be set aside in favour of a new focus. When viewed together, however, these series suggest Sheehy’s urgent need to capture or perhaps, expel these images.

About the artist

Artist and writer John Joseph Sheehy (b 1949. Ireland) lives and works in London. Solo exhibitions include: No Time for Tears, Outpost, London (2016); An Introspective, Atom Gallery, London (2015); Through My Hand, Outpost, London (2015); The Colours Choose Me, The House Gallery, London (2014); and Dreaming With My Eyes Open, Novas Gallery, London (2008). Group exhibitions include Heretics: An Introduction to Outsider Art, Redwing Gallery, Penzance (2015); and Urban Networks, Courtauld Institute, London (2003).


Studio Voltaire has been supporting artists for over twenty years, through our renowned programme of exhibitions, performances, events and education projects as well as providing affordable studios.

We have gained a reputation for championing both emerging and underrepresented artistic practices, often at key stage in the artist’s career. These have included Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, Phyllida Barlow, Ruth Ewan, Elizabeth Price, Jo Spence, Joanne Tatham & Tom O’Sullivan, Richard Slee and Cathy Wilkes.

The gallery also provides an important UK platform for international artists, often providing them their first-ever presentation in the UK. These have included Nairy Baghramian, Thea Djordjadze, Nicole Eisenman, Judith Hopf, Paulina Olowska and Henrik Olesen.