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New Works Exhibition Jacinta O’Reilly.

Wicklow Library

Opening 4th August 2022

 

As a psychologist mindfulness teacher and psychoanalytic psychotherapist, it is

perhaps fitting and with much pleasure I present to you Jacinta’s new works

and the reworking of some older works to make new. Themes I too grapple

with in my life; those of connectedness and moment by moment wonder at

the rawness of nature as it re-emerges again and again. Yet also underpinned

by recognition of the existential exploration of our world, our own aging, and

the revelations of aspects of inner wisdom that may emerge within this human

condition.

 

In setting the stage I wish to begin with a Zen story:

 

There was a person coming to live in a new village, and he was wondering if he

would like it there, so he went to the Zen master and asked: do you think I will

like it in this village? Are the people nice? The master asked back: How were

the people in the town where you come from? “They were nasty and greedy,

they were angry and lived for cheating and stealing,” said the newcomer.

Those are exactly the type of people we have in this village, said the master.

Another newcomer to the village visited the master and asked the same

question, to which the master asked: How were the people in the town where

you come from? “They were sweet and lived in harmony, they cared for one

another and for the land, they respected each other, and they were seekers of

spirit,” he replied. Those are exactly the type of people we have in this village,

said the master.

 

Jacinta O Reilly is one of those seekers of the spirit.

 

She has a keen awareness of the suffering of others and responds with

compassion and kindness. Many of us here have been recipients of the hand

made cards dropped in the door at a time of sadness of celebration. Jacinta is

always drawn to supporting others reflected in her volunteering at Oxfam and

Crumlin Hospital amongst many other projects. Her donated art works hang in

many hospitals and mental health settings bringing solace and pleasure to the

health staff and the people attending. Indeed I have had one such painting

hanging in my office in Tallaght University Hospital and others hang in the Age

Related Health care Department corridor.

 

Jacinta originally graduated from Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art Design &

Technology in 2003, specialising in printmaking. She has been strongly

influenced by abstract expressionists and the spontaneity of their process,

using mixed media and layering drawings with various geometric shapes. Her

experimental work uses delicate paper with layered mixed media, including

chalks, washes, and inks to create a rawness, reflective of the organic power of

nature. Always preserving a natural flow so each component is considered

but not deliberate. It is the wondrous and magnificent patterning of shapes

and colours in nature that inspires my work” often on the themes of

interconnectedness and how one weaves this into our lives.

 

The works of artists, Ian McKeever and Georgina O'Keefe, influenced Jacinta's

earlier works, both of whom, by repeating certain patterns, forms and images;

constantly rephrasing them to ever new variations and combinations may be

seen as a mark of their efforts to render visible the divine harmony which

embraces and connects all beings. Her current works are more influenced by

Glasgow born artist William Crozier, whose concern lies with the existential

meanings that lie beneath the surface and the personality he draws from the

landscape. ”….you must leave yourself open for the landscape to come to you.

The image is suddenly presented to you and it and it may be an amalgam of all

the things you are thinking about or of the history of your own work….. it may

be an image that is strong enough to carry you through for several years.”

 

Jacinta said some years ago 'My work is very much about a search for a

connection and although this seems to evade one at times, a strong belief that

everything in life is essentially related. William Crozier’s words also resonate

strongly with Jacinta, “ apart from the sensuality of paint, I have never found

painting a pleasurable activity. It is a task. An act of self-murder in which a

sense of achievement is rare and defeat a daily occurrence”

The Tyrone Guthrie Centre has over the past 20 years been a place of

inspiration for Jacinta, somewhere to be immersed in nature; She observes

and appreciates the beauty of the nature , which strongly influence her works

on paper. She believes that nature supplies the materials and the artist shapes

them. Her latest work is influenced by the daily practice of getting up with the

sunrise and allowing the magnificence of the sky and the layers of light and

shade that may emerge simultaneously combined with an unconscious sense

of stillness that elicits the spontaneity and rawness of nature itself.

I would like to finish with a short unworked poem I spontaneously wrote for

Jacinta some years ago.

 

Ode to the Artist

 

I had a conversation today

With an artist who sees things

In a different way to me

I live in words and thought

Her view is like a light

Of colours and delight

She paints her pictures

Of the world and more

In colour or black and white

 

I delve into language

Even thinking about thinking

She travels in dots, lines, or circles

With strokes the brush reveals

And words relay the emotions

Peeled away from hearts

As paint and pen

Create an open field

An exploration our zen.

 

(Veronica O’Doherty copyright 2014)