The book Ink Stained Hands, Graphic Studio Dublin and the origins of Fine-Art Printmaking in Ireland by Brian Lalor (Lilliput Press, publication date February 2011) dedicates a whole chapter to Tom Phelan for his contribution to printmaking in Ireland.
The Irish Times, Aiden Dunne, 22 November 2006
“Tom Phelan is probably better known as an editioning printmaker and technician than as a printmaker in his own right. He has worked with numerous artists as part of the Graphic Studio visiting artists programme.
Because of the nature of the beast, it can happen that printmakers become interested to the point of obsession with subtleties of technique. While Phelan is clearly an exacting technician, and while the work in his exhibition of woodcuts and etchings at the Graphic Studio Gallery evidences considerable technical skill and ingenuity, he is also much more than that.
His work is outstandingly open-minded and adventurous. He takes repeat patterns, silhouette motifs and gestural marks and plays ingeniously with the ideas of symmetry, balance and texture. He also has a sound and distinctive colour sense.“