'We emerge out of nature yet remain nature. We look at nature as if from outside and yet within it. We adopt pets to whom we give human names. We anthropomorphise the least creature from Jiminy Cricket to Brer Rabbit, consorting with Gruffalos and Godzillas. Aesop's and La Fontaine's Fables offer us practical moralities through the habits of animals.

Anything for an analogy. Anything that seems to explore the root of our instincts, terrors and desires.

Not that Mate Orr's paintings do anything quite so easily codified. Their handle on realistic depiction is often complicated by flatter, more graphic treatment of one or other component that offers us icons rather than the evocation of physical presence. The flat representation of a duck becomes all the flatter when placed next to realistic depiction of real flesh and feather. This is a double game.'

George Szirtes, poet and translator
quote from the opening speech held at the Fairhurst Gallery, UK, 2017