MAGUIRE'S OCTOBER, egg tempera, 61 x 86 cm
© Fergus A Ryan, 2016 Private collection
In Patrick Kavanagh's poem The Great Hunger Maguire has promised himself that before the apples are hung for Halloween in October he will have a wife. But each October comes and goes and Maguire is still looking after his aging mother (in the house). The hunger is as great as ever. Life slips through the bars of the field's gate. The two rooks (crows) suggest Maguire's unfulfilled desire. I asked the performance artist Peter Duffy to model for me for this painting.