Painting Student Looks to Heavens

A Memsie art student, who is preparing to unveil a range of her work at the Gray’s School of Art Degree Show this week, found her inspiration for her final year project in the night sky.

Rebecca O'Reilly 2015 Degree ShowRebecca O’Reilly (22), who is studying painting at Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen, has created a collection of work inspired by her research into astronomy, with a specific focus on the constellations.

The former Mintlaw Academy pupil said: “I find it fascinating that something of human origin – the constellations- have had such a strong presence throughout the antiquity of humanity. There are no lines in the night sky that join the stars into a discernible pattern. We as an entire species have created these identities.

“There is such poetic value in the collective reach for understanding we as a species have made through the ages and across the continents. There has always been evidence of how we have tried to understand the stars found throughout differing cultures.”

Rebecca has called her collection of work ‘Undefined Boundaries’ and will see it go on display as part of the art school’s annual Degree Show, running from June 20 to 27.

She said: “I use a range of materials to explore texture through experimentation with the physicality of paint. Usually this constitutes a mix of several layers of paint; oil, acrylic and a water based primer.

“I am really content with the culmination of my body of work this year. I believe that I have given myself a good base from which to start my career and know that I want to continue my exploration into astronomy.

Quote marks“I think this year’s final year painters are quite strong as a collective and I am really excited to see how it all looks when presented together at our Degree Show.”

Rebecca, who was awarded this year’s Hector Memorial Prize Fund by the art school, added: “Gray’s as an art school has found a balance between offering its students guided support and the freedom to delve into an idea with confidence and independence.
Rebecca O 'Reilly painting
“I have found that you’re really encouraged to figure out where you want your own practice to go, which, to be honest, can be quite intimidating to start with. However, I believe this to be the best way to find your own voice and style as a young artist as it really pushes you to be creative; to problem solve.

Quote marks“I also hope to start collaborating with others from different fields to help develop my practice into something that can be considered cross-medium and multi-disciplinary.”

Rebecca’s work will be on display as part of the Gray’s School of Art Degree Show, sponsored by BP for the twelfth year, which runs from June 20 to 27.

Release by
Jenny Rush

Communications Officer | Design and Technology

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