Bennie Reilly is a visual artist working in the mediums of oil painting and sculptural bricolage. Her practice is informed by an interest in museology, nature and history and is built upon eclectic accumulations of curios and photographic research. She has had eight solo exhibitions in Ireland including Rara Avis, RHA (2013); Small Pieces of Precarious Life, Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise (2017) and The New Past, Triskel Arts Centre, Cork (2019).
She set out to use the residency period at Interface to further research and develop a new phase of work examining historical and contemporary attitudes towards nature and the aesthetics of the landscape.
The focus of her research has moved beyond natural and historical artefacts to the depiction of nature itself throughout history. By considering our emotional response to nature in the light of various texts on the historical development of attitudes towards the aesthetics of landscape, she has begun to examine the relevance of this genre today—a time of climate crisis which has resulted in a heightened appreciation of the natural world and a pre-emptive sense of nostalgia for nature and the landscape. She also has an interest in the growing popularity of biophilia as a method of self-care and an antidote to today’s digitally driven society.
‘I’ve been exploring the grounds of Interface, seeking out and studying the native and non-native elements of nature contained within.. Collecting objects and specimens and observing the juxtaposition of wildlife and industry here.’