A picture from Joys of Summer by artist Eamon Reilly.
Finea artist Eamon Reilly recently opened a thrilling new collection of works called 'Joys of Summer' in the County Museum in Ballyjamesduff. It showcases work he tongue-in-cheek describes as Eamonism and runs until May 11. Below he talks briefly about some of his works and how he's quite happy to never be trendy.
Anglo-Celt: How would you describe your style?
Eamon Reilly: My style is completely my own. It's Eamonism. It's raw, direct, uncomplicated, naive, basic, colourful, bold, bright, folk art. It's also outsider because I'm self taught, doing my own thing and it's not likely to ever be 'trendy' and fashionable.I don't ever want it on cups and plates like Graham Knuttel's art. I'm used to being ignored by the art world.
AC: Tell us a little bit about the painting of the boat?
ER: I try not to explain my paintings too much. It's about seizing the day. I wanted it to be slightly mysterious. I got a Florence and the Machine CD a while back and in an online extra on it she explains all the songs on the CD. I only watched it long after I had heard the album and was very disappointed with her explanations as my own mind had made far more interesting stories and had I taken different meanings of my own from the songs.
AC: You were deliberately focusing on the positives when you compiled Joys of Summer exhibition. Could you be accused of turning a blind eye to what's happening?
ER: This exhibition is called The Joys of Summer and it is colourful and mostly happy. Why not cheer up people for a change? The recession has its advantages too and can bring out the best in people. However on a another level, I'm making bold statements.
The religious paintings here go totally against the sectarian grain in a lot of the media in this country at the moment. It is taboo to say that you have religion today. The way that the media are depicting religion worldwide is nothing like the way I see my religion. I wanted to make my religious paintings colourful,fun and interesting.
The 'Celebrate New York' painting is about the resilience of the people of New York after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and how they got through adversity. I've even put the Twin Towers in it. The 'Ruins of Fore Abbey' and 'Tullynally Castle' are iconic local buildings that have survived many hard times and are still there to be seen. They'll be there when we are all long gone. 'Wishing you were here to see this' is a painting about losing loved ones and that moment you realise that they're not there to show them or tell them something anymore.
AC: Is it not the obligation of the artist to comment on the pressing issues of the day?
ER: Yes. But the 'pressing issues of the day' are the same issues now that they always were, only in different guises. There has always been poverty, wars, sadness, loneliness, and adversity of some sort or other. During the so called boom we were the most blinkered, busy people in the world. We paid people to clean our houses because we hadn't the time ourselves. We hadn't the time to be good to ourselves or others. Now, because there is so much unemployment, there have never been as many working in voluntary organisations helping others. The goodness in people is unbelievable. On my website you will see controversial paintings about Che Guevara (I'm anti-Che and think that Galway should think again about putting up a monument to him), Omagh (I'm anti-terrorism), anti-war paintings and many other issues.
See this week's Celt newspaper for a report on the launch of Joys of Summer.
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|Date:||Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 8:33:19 AM|