Joseph O’ Reilly was born in Huddersfield in 1957, where he studied at the Batley School of Art & Design (1976 –77), going on to Sheffield Polytechnic of Art and Design (1977- 80) and graduating with a first class honours degree in Fine Art.
Joseph’s work has featured in many group and solo shows in his native north of England – Sheffield, Huddersfield and Manchester, but also in London at the Piccadilly Gallery.
Working in oils and acrylics O’Reilly has specialised in exquisite still life painting for 25 years. He is fascinated by what is beyond the outward appearance of the objects in a still life, where there is often a deeper significance – a symbolism of inference that may be of a philosophical, intellectual religious or purely personal nature. O’ Reilly has a wonderful feeling for light and the play of light and shadows to create a particular mood. Joseph is interested in contrasts of subject matter and textures, he says:‘ I might, for example make a painting of a leather jacket and some flowers. The jacket takes on the shape of my body after a time, while the flowers are delicate and ephemeral.’
The play of light and shadows is another important element in respect of modelling and defining forms. In some recent paintings Joseph has explored the way light falls across white drapery as a backdrop or in conjunction with the objects creating exciting sculptural effects.
Awards & Prizes
JJ Lloyd Fine Art Prize and Yorkshire Arts Award ( 1981)
Artist in Industry Fellowship ( 1985)
Manchester Academy People’s Prize ( 1991 & 1992)
Hunting Art Prize – Most Popular Work (1996 & 1998)
Edward Oldham Award – Manchester Academy of Fine Art (1997)
Boston University, Sheffield Art Gallery, Calderdale Museum & Art Gallery, Kirklees Museum and Art Gallery.
Private Collections: The Duke of Devonshire, other collections in Britain, Holland, USA & Australia.