- 09 Mar 21
Fitzpatrick's artwork includes Thin Lizzy's 'Jailbreak' album, Sinéad O’Connor‘s 2000 LP 'Faith and Courage', The Darkness‘ 2003 single 'Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End)' and Norwegian metal outfit Darkthrone‘s 'The Underground Resistance'.
Renowned Irish artist Jim Fitzpatrick, known for elaborately detailed work inspired by Celtic mythology, has given 'Why Not Her?' a stunning piece of artwork to use for its Solidarity Campaign.
The #WhyNotHer campaign aims to elevate the voices of women and female-identifying people across the Irish media, broadcasting and music industries - hoping to reach a more diverse and inclusive landscape.
"I support #WhyNotHer and the efforts to end pay and gender inequality," Fitzpatrick said of his generous donation.
"It is ludicrous that in so many of our media outlets (including our national broadcaster) a male presenter earns much more than any female presenter, that a male reporter get paid more than his female counterpart.
This ridiculous situation is not unique to places like RTÉ, but applies also to so many of our national television and radio stations as well as our other media outlets.
"I worked in advertising in the '60s and '70s, where everyone were paid on their talent and ability," Jim added. "Time to apply this logic to all media too. It’s way overdue."
The artwork is of the Deer Goddess Sadv - one of the most ancient Celt goddesses.
"What a stunning gesture of solidarity from one of our most celebrated and beloved artists in Ireland," Founder of Why Not Her? Linda Coogan Byrne says of Fitzpatrick's gesture.
"Sadv, The Deer Goddess, associated with forests, the doe and fawn, is one of the most ancient of the Celt Goddesses and is also associated with the Arts, which makes this so much more symbiotic. Her symbols are late-blooming flowers, red and gold items and rings. It is our honour to be given such a beautiful piece of art for the campaign from Jim."
The big news today. I feel like it’s a birthday or something as this man is one of the greatest living artists. Thank you for your solidarity @jimfitzpatrick & for giving us with such a powerful image of Sadv, a creativity goddess for @WhyNotHerIre news> https://t.co/PpDGRy0jSz pic.twitter.com/u89t5oRzpy
— Linda Coogan Byrne (@lindacooganb) March 9, 2021
During a period of childhood sickness, Fitzpatrick read and drew in bed, as well as his mother and great-aunt telling him stories of the Tuatha Dé Danann, Cú Chulainn and Fionn MacCumhaill.
Fitzpatrick’s earliest work was the graphic portrait of Che Guevara, which was based on the photograph by Alberto Korda, entitled 'Guerrillero Heroico' - taken on March 5th,1960. Fitzpatrick met Guevara five years earlier in Kilkee during Guevara’s visit to trace his Irish ancestry. Having initially tried to distribute the poster himself, Fitzpatrick chose to remove the copyright from the image so that is could be used freely by left-wing groups, stating that “I literally wanted it to breed like rabbits."
In 1978, he wrote and illustrated a book called The Book of Conquests, a retelling of Irish myths, the Lebor Gabála Érenn. The book is a revival of legends such as the coming of the Tuatha dé Dannan to Ireland and their fight with the Fir Bolg. The illustrations include intricate Celtic scrollwork and knotwork, for which Fitzpatrick has become known. A second book, The Silver Arm, is based on the deeds of Nuada of the Silver Arm and Lugh in their fight with the Formor.
BuThe Dubliner is best known for his iconic, Celtic-influenced Thin Lizzy album covers. He started his long association with the Dublin rock legends at the time of their Vagabonds Of The Western World album, released in 1973, and continued to work with the band through classics like Jailbreak, Johnny The Fox and Chinatown. In 2016, Fitzpatrick also released a suite of artworks dedicated to the heroes of the 1916 Rising, and the War of independence. Among those illustrated is the Irish socialist, feminist and revolutionary, James Connolly; Padraic Pearse and Joseph Plunkett.
Read Colm O'Hare's 2004 interview with Fitzpatrick for Hot Press here.