1. How long have you been painting, where did you study and how did you decide to become an artist?
I’ve been painting seriously for about ten years. I graduated from DIT Grangegorman in 2015. I originally started to study architecture but art wouldn’t leave the back of my head so I decided to change- it didn’t feel like much of a choice!
2.Does the fact that you are Irish influence your work? If so then in what way?
It does influence my work in that it is the culture that I’m surrounded by and that is most familiar to me- so it forms the base of most of my work. Having said that, my work is moving towards a more ‘multicultural’ aesthetic and as it develops, my nationality will probably get less and less important.
3.Can you give us an insight into your creative process?
My work usually originates from my readings on culture and consciousness. I also try to travel whenever possible to research art from different cultures. After that I start working; I’m still developing my approach to the process- sometimes I attempt to work as intuitively as possible and other times I plan. I am trying to find a balance in letting the conscious and unconscious both influence the final piece.
4.How influential is the working space for your artistic practice?
The working space is important to me- I try to keep my reading and research gathering separate. The studio then is solely for experimenting and actually painting. Sharing a room with Paul in the Complex is great as the two of us give each other criticism and our work has developed together over the past year.
5.Tell us how you managed to get Deputy Mary Lou McDonald to connect with your exhibition enough to agree to launch it for you?
The Artistic Director of the Complex, Vanessa Fielding very kindly put me in contact with Deputy Mary Lou Mc Donald. She was very interested in the show from the start. As it developed, the show focused on both male and female ‘warrior’ type characters of Irish myth, and they have evolved over time to sometimes be regarded as symbols of Irish rebellion. I think the fact that fictional figures could suddenly represent significant historic events appealed to her; I also think she may be a bit intrigued to see what I’ve actually produced in relation to these loaded themes!
Ronan O’Reilly’s exhibition “Liathróidí”, Irelands Heroes and Anti Heroes opening Thursday 17th November and running from 18th November -8th December 2016 at Origin Art Gallery Dublin. Opening by Deputy Mary Lou Mc Donald TD and VP Sinn Fein.