Back to Members

Breon O'Casey
(1928 — 2011)

Breon O’Casey was a British painter, sculptor and printmaker. O’Casey was born in London, but initially began his artistic education at Dartington Hall after the family relocated to Devon in 1937. It was here that O’Casey was first introduced to the visual arts. Under the guidance of eminent cultural figures the artist was instructed in metalwork at an early age, and began to explore physical methods of expressing his artistic inclinations. After completing his National Service during the Second World War, O’Casey returned to his native London where he enrolled at the Anglo-French Art Centre. In the years that followed, the artist focused his attention on painting, but post-war London did not prove to be a fruitful environment for the artist.


In the late 1950s O’Casey relocated to St Ives, Cornwall. The vibrant artistic community provided a formative, inspirational atmosphere in which the artist thrived. Alongside his own painterly pursuits, O’Casey served as assistant to the sculptor Denis Mitchell for approximately two years and later worked for Barbara Hepworth between the years of 1959 to 1962. These experiences, which the artist himself described as an apprenticeship, proved to be highly educational and would later encourage O’Casey to explore the sculptural medium himself. Throughout the 1960s O’Casey continued to expand his oeuvre of painting, his reputation as an abstract painter growing considerably within the artistic communities of Cornwall where he served as the vice-chairman of the Penwith Society for some time.


Though the artist continued to live and work with his beloved St Ives community, O’Casey enjoyed significant success in London. Throughout his long career, the artist explored several different artistic outlets and enjoyed success as a jewellery maker, weaver and sculptor in the later period of his career.