Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire
On Show 2020
Gary O’ Reilly

Understanding how unresolved trauma can manifest itself in a variety of ways has become a recurring theme in my practice. Being highly sensitive to the layers of the subconscious, my quest to uncover something quite tangible but yet elusive requires periods of introspection. The material qualities of my work are related to how I see people and objects as mirrors to hidden aspects of my character. In this way, my work becomes a portrait of myself or the nexus of examination to wider issues regarding human behavior. Through this process of introspection I can become isolated from outside stimuli. Isolation can trigger stored trauma in the body and in the mind which are, potentially universally experienced during the recent Covid 19 pandemic. Monsters in my imagination manifest themselves through feelings of anxiety and loneliness posing questions that run deep into the past. ‘Zone’ engages with the space that exists in the human psyche yet remains hidden until events drag it back to the surface, recalling trauma of universal war and the fragmented bodies left behind. ‘Myopia’ is a work conceived during the pandemic crisis. Static isolation can dictate the direct perception of reality. Shortsightedness can now become tunnel vision. Unresolved trauma restricts esoteric knowledge that may hold the key to understanding the consequences of long periods of isolation.