PATRICK O'REILLY, The Consideration of the Planets
Oliver Sears Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by Dublin based artist Patrick O’Reilly. Works include installations, bronzes, paintings and photography. Throughout his career, O’Reilly has often sought to look at the big questions by using dramatic props. By taking familiar objects, distorting them, making them from unusual materials or placing them in uncustomary situations the focus is shifted, sometimes shockingly, on an otherwise ordinary object. Once the viewer is placed outside the comfort zone the natural next step is to raise questions.
The keystone of the exhibition is an installation that remains in the artist’s studio, a desanctified church in Drumcondra. Here he has constructed a thirty foot haystack inspired by the conical shape that so allured the impressionists,
Monet especially. Big haystack, small church. It strikes many chords, the essential and spiritual, the superannuated, the discreet, the manmade and the made in heaven. Its presence is strangely calming surrounded by exquisitely curved wooden statues of the saints, light streaming through the stained glass windows turning sections red and blue. Also present in the church is ‘House’ an installation that appeared last year at the Centre Cultural Irlandais in Paris. Here is a seemingly pristine wooden house that belies the chaos that lives within. Peer through the windows and see stacks of crockery, buckets and other vessels overflowing with water. The message is one of simple pride but it’s a beautiful apparatus.
Back in the gallery there is a smaller haystack, large photographs of the main stack and a collection of new bronzes and installations embracing O’Reilly’s passion of expressing human emotion through the guise of the teddy bear, an alter ego.
To cap this unusually creative period for the artist is a cycle of paintings made with oil on melamine, a natural product used in work surfaces. Uniquely, melamine resists any kind of absorption and allows the paint to sit undiluted making for a deeply rich resolution. The artist works by covering the surface in its entirety and then, employing a sponge removes the excess paint. The compositions range from trees, landscapes to pure abstract shapes that lend successfully to the atmosphere of the exhibition which runs until 6th June.