Breon O’Casey,(1928–2011) “Musical”

“Musical” Acrylic and Card on Board, 72 x 92 cm

Breon O’Casey , was a painter, sculptor and printmaker who lived and worked in Cornwall, initially in the artists’ colony of St Ives.

Following his national service, O’Casey attended the Anglo-French Art School in St John’s Wood, London. In the late 1950s, O’Casey was drawn to St Ives after being inspired by a film on primitive painter Alfred Wallis who had lived there. Living in St Ives, he became the assistant to sculptor Denis Mitchell and later to Barbara Hepworth, and was introduced too many other artists associated with the St Ives Group, experiences which informed his later career. 

After being introduced to the jewellery of Alexander Calder, O’Casey was inspired to make his own, initially just to make some extra money, but he found that he was dedicating more and more time to the craft as demand grew, and he ended up making a name for himself as a jeweller as well as a painter.

O’Casey wasn’t constricted to the hierarchy of materials or specialisms; throughout his career he continued to explore possibilities in both art and craft, moving onto weaving after jewellery and then sculpture, predominately out of wax which were then cast in bronze. 

He exhibited widely and his work can be found in many permanent collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Tate Collection, Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, Leeds City Art Gallery, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the Pforzheim Museum, Germany among others.

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