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.
Sarah Kelleher 2013.