Summer Colour at the CSA
John Coley, The Star, 22nd Aug. 1981.


The Canterbury Society of Arts is busy with exhibitions, the current offering making up in charm whatever they may lack in substantial content.

Presenting her second one-woman show in Christchurch is Clare Reilly, whose gently colourful, decorative paintings are loaded with visual appeal.

Drawing inspiration from plant forms, her images are woven from sinuous lines that refuse to flatten into straightness for any shape, be it house, window frame or furniture.

The rhythmic linear pattern and the repeating shapes of her paintings may be a nod in the direction of the Austrian painter Hundertwasser, but there is much more of the artist herself.

Ms Reilly is clearly developing a unique style and evolving her own visual language.

"Rusty Roofs with Whispering Trees," for example, is a small painting blooming with glowing colours and subtle rhythm.

The satisfying natural character of her imagery, the curving lines and pod-like accents that occur in all her works give strong unity to the exhibition but never appear to result from a formula.

Each painting has its own logic and Ms Reilly's sense of colour is well developed enough for her to give each panel its individual set of hues.

This is a fine, decorative show with small, domestic scale works at modest prices.