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Breon O'Casey

Garden Gallery, Bothy Gallery and Upper Space
2 Jul–23 Oct 2005

Breon O'Casey (1928–2011) was a painter, printmaker, weaver, jeweller and sculptor, working instinctively in each medium with a deep feeling for materials. 

O'Casey began making sculpture around a decade ago when in his mid-sixties: a development that typifies the range and adaptability of this versatile artist.

This exhibition focussed on sculpture, prints and painting. As a painter, he drew on nature's simple, rhythmic forms to produce beautiful, spare works bathed in colour. His palette was rich yet subtle, based on a lifetime's observation of 'the harsh burnt sienna red of the glimpsed fox against the umber ploughed field' or 'the violets and purples of the bare trees against the grey Cornish skies'.

O'Casey's prints are largely abstract, with the exception of a recurring bird motif which has a timeless resonance. They show a directness of line and sureness of touch suited to this bold, graphic medium.



An understanding of the expressive power of simplified shape can be perceived within O'Casey's sculpture. Again the bird features strongly, stripped down to a still, essential form which recalls ancient sculpture. The work is condensed, quiet, but with a great, almost mystical presence.



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