New Works Exhibition Jacinta O’Reilly.
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
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)