“Ben Reilly has a way with material that confounds initial impressions. A self-described Magpie, he collects, casts and recombines objects that are ‘shiny’ to him and are drawn from various historical moments, ranging from dusty Victorian to 1950’s kitsch. These objects are often symbolically potent; blimps, skulls and guns, but although they appear at first glance to be weighty and metallic, they are in fact made from densely pigmented wax. Undercutting the darkness of his work – literal darkness, as much of the pieces are rendered in dense, light absorbing black – is an irreverent, subversive humour.” From the catalogue for the exhibition sin Corner, Sarah Kelleher 2013.
“The world stepped into when we explore Ben’s work is made up of things, materials, objects, stuff. Is it a door handle? A leather boot, A bag of materials that looks like but isn’t quite coal? Does it matter? These are old things. But the sense of the old is that of time as something pure. Unlike the reworking of the past we find in so much popular culture, this is a sensuous oldness; we want to touch and explore. We want to feel the object of time itself.” Art Encounters | Art In The Age Of Virtual Reproduction, Dara Waldron 2017.