A beautiful, meditative exploration of a life and a life’s work
Artwork: Dancing round the Island of Life
Clare Reilly is an artist, and has been painting and exhibiting since 1976. Her artwork has achieved international recognition, with many cards, calendars and prints being sold overseas. Her private commissions have found their way into collections in Argentina, North America, Israel, Europe and Australia, as well as throughout New Zealand.
Pictured: Clare Reilly in her Studio
Clare is passionate about conservation, supporting conservation projects through her artworks, which express an underlying connection with the natural environment, in particular an empathy with native birds. Her more recent works focus on issues such as the encroachment of human activity on the limited natural resources we have left, and the historical effects of settlement on the native land species found in her locality.
Clare Reilly: Eye of the Calm is a celebration of artist Clare Reilly’s life and work. Experience a sense of calm and hope with this story of a fascinating life told through both words and imagery. A beautiful, meditative exploration of a life’s work – this book allows you to have not just one Clare Reilly piece in your home, but a collection of them.
A collection of stunning reproductions… (Clare Reilly’s) works engage with the theme of conservation and habitat destruction, however the calm, shining waters and swooping birds provide a sense of optimism and renewal”.
“New Zealand artist, conservationist and author Clare Reilly has been painting and writing for more than 40 years, meticulously charting a life defined by deep connections with nature, … She describes her homeland as “an ark of forest and birds, sailing adrift in the Southern Ocean”, and pastel images of the likes of Kokako at Dawn(2014) are accompanied by lyrical verse. Imagine its “haunting bell notes” at first light amid the “fragrant, musty bush” of ancient tree ferns and be transported to a timeless, gentle and enchanting world.”
“This beautiful book uses autobiographical writing and prints of more than 100 of Reilly’s gentle and dreamy paintings to provide insight into her life and career as an artist. They reflect on her first encounters with tui, bellbirds and kereru at her grandmother’s house in Dunedin, … and her involvement in various conservation and wildlife support projects. The works illustrate many of Reilly’s favourite themes, including habitat destruction and renewal, and the healing qualities of nature.”
The Gardens Magazine
“Familiar to many from a popular line of calendars and greeting cards- are beautifully reproduced here with a richness of colour that captures the clear light of a new Zealand summer.”
– Joanna Wane, Canvas Magazine, NZ Herald
“Reilly’s work, featuring mainly native birds flying in resplendent New Zealand native landscapes, is stunning and gets space to soar in this attractively produced Exisle Publishing book which shows off to maximum affect her art as well as telling her story.
Always at peace in nature, Reilly developed a passion for conservation and supporting conservation projects which, in turn, continue to fuel her work and highlight connections with the natural environment.
Eye of the calm captures a vision of a life lived with commitment and dedication where a sense of joy, hope, renewal and powerful elements of secular spirituality shine through in art which is striking and eye-catching yet also tranquil and calming.”
Kete – New books from Aotearoa
“Clare Reilly’s Eye of the Calm is filled with beautiful paintings of native birds in our New Zealand landscape, and with her life story.
The birds in flight in her paintings signify a soaring of spirit, an uplift, and a sense of joy.
When I rest my eyes for a while on them, their joyful presence lifts my mood. I stop ruminating about the harm that Covid is inflicting around the world and worrying whether we can avoid the spread of the Delta variant in New Zealand.
Her life story, the way she stayed true to her own style of painting and went on to achieve an international reputation is also inspiring.
It is a beautiful book, one to treasure.”