Rory's oil painting in the frame at World War One exhibition

Rachel McNabb


Rachel McNabb

A painting by a Ballymena artist of a World War 1 soldier has been selected to feature in an exhibition chronicling the final battles of The Great War of 1918.

Rory Reynolds produced the artwork “Thoughts of Home” to mark the approaching centenary of the end of World War1.

His painting was selected by a committee to appear in an exhibition at The Mid-Antrim Museum in The Braid, Ballymena from September 29 to January 12 entitled The Great War 1918: Death, Disease and Decisions.

The artwork also includes a personal tribute to both Rory's grandfathers who were soldiers during World War 1.

Hugh Reynolds of 23 Springwell Street, Ballymena and Patrick McQuillan of 2 Conyngham Street, Moneymore served with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

Rory explained: “My brother gave me a file he had compiled of family information and from this I found out that both my grandfathers served during World War 1 and were in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.”

Both of Rory's grandfathers returned from the war, however, Patrick McQuillan was injured.

Rory added: “This piece of family history combined with the approaching centenary of the ending of World War 1 gave me the inspiration as a Ballymena based artist to produce a piece to mark the survival of these two men, their return from war and their legacy.”

Rory explained that the oil painting on canvas was produced with a palette knife using impasto technique.

He continued: “Earth collected from the Somme Battle Field is incorporated within the oil paint used to depict the hands of the soldier in the panting.

“At the base of the canvas two used shell casings which are Somme Battle Field finds represent both my grandfathers. Each shell is inscribed with their individual service numbers.”

The exhibition chronicles the final battles of The Great War, reflects on its legacy and examines this pivotal year in the Irish political landscape.

It brings together a number of projects carried out across the Mid and East Antrim Museum and Heritage Service to mark the end of the First World War. The themes reflect the focus of each geographical area within the Borough.

The exhibition is free and is open Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm and Saturday 10am to 4pm.

Now retired Rory is a former lecturer in art and design at the Northern Regional College.

He is a member of the Antrim Art Club and some of his work is on display in the gallery at Junction One, Antrim.

He also has a facebook page Rory Hugh Reynolds Artist-Printmaker.

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