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Lifeline: Jacinta O'Reilly

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Join John Connell as he chats to Jacinta O’Reilly,  an artist whose work has been exhibited in public libraries, hospitals and hospices, which she calls her ‘mobile studio’. Having the opportunity to hang her abstract paintings in an exhibition space helps Jacinta view her body of work from a new perspective.

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Artist Jacinta O’Reilly launches Flight of Fantasy exhibition in Mullingar

Dublin based artist Jacinta O’Reilly has launched Flight of Fantasy. An exhibition combining abstract landscapes with collages and patterned drawings. The exhibition will be on display in the Atrium space in the Westmeath County Buildings, until Friday 2 February.


In 2023, Jacinta’s introduction to Westmeath was through completing a project for Helium Arts. Three of her abstract drawings were hung permanently in the head office of the children's charity. 


Jacinta is an environmentalist and has dealt with her relationship to the earth in one of the paintings in the exhibition - through her use of gold and abstract mark marking she has endeavoured to show reverence for the earth. There are three framed pieces in the Exhibition: one is a detailed drawing of ancient vessels, another has deep colours and is so layered it has been compared to textiles and the last piece uses black as a final layer to show movement and depth of field.


Flight of Fantasy radiates colour and incorporates abstract patterns. The pieces on display were created over a number of years both in the Tyrone Guthrie Centre and Cill Rialaig Arts Centre. Due to the intense layering, the work often has a sculptural quality. Speaking about her work Jacinta says;


“I enjoy starting with a shape and losing myself in the drawing. Tearing up old drawings and using a range of paper in the work is an important part of my process. Within the abstract acrylic paintings layering of a range of mixed media is incorporated.”


She added that;


“The opportunity to hang the work in the Atrium space in Mullingar helps me as an Artist to view the body of work from a new perspective. This week I have really enjoyed chatting with people as they interact with the artwork. Feedback has include comments that the Aboriginal influence on my work is evident. I spent 17 years in Sydney Australia and attended National Art School there.”


Trudy from the North Westmeath Hospice chose some of Jacinta O’Reilly’s works for display.

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