Matthew O’Reilly is an emerging artist who recently completed his MFA in ceramics at the Alberta University for the Arts in Calgary, AB, Canada. He also holds a Honors Bachelor of Fine Arts, a Bachelor of Education, and a Masters in Education with a specialization in social justice from Lakehead University. He is a passionate educator, as well as a formidable maker, having recently received the First Place NCECA Graduate Award of Excellence from the 2021 NCECA Juried Student Exhibition held in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Working between ceramics and sculpture, my studio practice uses the sculpted figure as a launching pad for conversation about the human condition. I am particularly concerned with subverting sculptural embodiments of masculinity, whiteness, and power structures. I employ the grotesque in my armoury of satire in order to rupture the boundaries of what we ‘know’. I do this by dissecting the body into distorted fragments that come back together to solicit curiosity and repulsion. I aim to make reflexive work that pushes, pulls, and complicates dialogues around identity. Ceramics, metal working, readymades, paint and plaster processes are used as sites for intuitive investigation of the body.