Patrick Jolley’s work spanned film, photography and installation. He was profoundly interested in the ordinary and its proximity to the horrific, and in how little can be done to stop the one turning into the other. Like Beckett, he saw acceptance and humour as tools to be used to survive life—even to enjoy it. He did not believe in the possibility of escape, or rather he saw all attempts at escape as doomed to failure and therefore not worth the candle. Neither explanation nor comfort formed any part of his repertoire. The influence of Eastern European and Russian literature are clear; also the tragic and bloody history of the twentieth century. India interested him deeply because of the open proximity in which the animal and the spiritual sides of human nature exist.
Patrick Jolley was born in Co Down, 1964 and had lived in Ireland, London, New York and Berlin. He had been living in Co Meath until his sudden death in India on January 15, 2012. Recent exhibitions include ‘Surfacing Earth’, Roda Sten Konsthall, Gothenburg; ‘On View’ The Butler Gallery, Kilkenny; ‘In Darkness Let Me Dwell’, Solstice Art Centre, Navan; ‘The Language of Dreams’, Crawford Gallery, Cork; ‘Inside’, Palais de Tokyo, Paris; ‘Agitationism’, Eva International, Limerick; EXPO 1: New York’, MoMA PS1; the 30th São Paulo Biennial; ‘Unsafe Spaces in Contemporary Art’, Kunstmuseum Bonn; ‘Beyond Earth’, Cornell University – Johnson Museum of Art; ‘Prelude Speaker: Contemporary Castletown’, Co. Kildare; ‘9 + 1 Ways of Being Political’, MoMA and a solo show at Limerick City Gallery. He has exhibited work at TATE, London, the Pompidou Centre, Paris, the Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, MoMA PS1, New York, the 3rd Gwangzhou Triennial, the 4th Berlin Biennial and Dublin Contemporary. His work is in the collection of MoMA, New York, NBK, Berlin and IMMA, Dublin. His work is included in the Lux Touring Programme and has had extensive screening at international film festivals including, Sundance Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival, Indie Lisboa, Les Rencontres Internationale and Kassel Documentary Festival.