Matthew O’Reilly is an Canadian emerging artist interested in the complexity of a person, catalyzing conversation, and figurative ceramics. He completed his MFA at the Alberta University for the Arts where he advanced a visual vocabulary wielding the grotesque and satire in tandem with public stautary. Matthew received First Place NCECA Graduate Award of Excellence from the 2021 NCECA Juried Student Exhibition for his achievements in Grad School. Following his formal education, Matthew was a year-long artist in residence at the Medalta Clay Center in Medicine Hat, Alberta, where he developed new bodies of work investigating the tension between individuals and collectives. Matthew is very honored to be the recent recipient of the 2022 Winifred Shantz Award for Ceramics and he will be a year-long artist in residence at the Clay Studio of Missoula, Montana (2022-2024), where he will be exploring his relationship to the digitizing public square.
Artist Statement 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 asking questions about our collective values through the framework of monuments and public statuary. 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.