JOSEPH O’Reilly’s paintings are always among the most admired works seen during the Holmfirth Artweek.

Now there is a chance to see more of his work in an exhibition which has opened at the Touchstones Gallery, Rochdale.

For the exhibition, Joseph was invited by gallery officers to choose 20th century still life works from the permanent collection, to be shown alongside his own contemporary paintings.

“Since the 17th century, artists have created still life paintings for their own sake, rather than as part of a larger painting,” says a gallery spokesperson. “The domestic scale of still life painting and the ordinariness of the objects depicted has often allowed artists to concentrate on experimenting with refining their painting or drawing techniques.

“Some artists use still life work as an exercise to hone their skills, for others, like O’Reilly, it is the mainstay of their practice.”

Huddersfield-born Joseph, who formerly lived in Linthwaite, has worked consistently and successfully for the past 30 years.

He exhibited at a British Council exhibition at the Free University, Amsterdam, shortly after his graduation.

From 1982 onwards, he gained recognition with the Piccadilly gallery in London. More recently he has shown with the Portal Gallery in London.

He has exhibited at public galleries throughout his career, most notably in his native Yorkshire.

His work has been widely collected in the UK and internationally, featuring in both public and private collections

Much of the visual interest in a still life painting comes from how the artist places the objects to create a composition, as well as from the depiction of different textures and the play of light.

Depending on the artist’s style, the resulting painting can be a highly realistic rendering of the objects, as in Joseph’s work, or a looser, more impressionistic interpretation as is the case of some of the works from the Rochdale collection in the Touchstones exhibition.

Artists from the collection selected by Joseph include Sir Matthew Smith (1879-1959), Anna Arrey (1882-1964) and Ben Levene RA (1936-2010).

` SOME fine drawing and painting can be expected in exhibition which opens today at the North Light Gallery, Armitage Bridge (till August 27).

Garden of Ideas is the appropriate title for the show by M Valerio, whose studio is in Meltham.

For she links flowers and other images in an imaginative way, comparing global and personal issues.

Though some of the work on view has been taken from private collections, most of it is new, and a lot of it revolves round booklets which will be on sale, with coloured covers and pen and ink drawings inside.

The booklets, available at reasonable prices, have titles like Sight of the Sea, Quick Earth Stories, The Same Unknown and Word in Edgeways. They all include questioning and emotive poems, inspired partly by people who have inspired the artist’s own life and work.

“I do booklets with fine art illustrations and texts written by me and my brother, R D Valerio,” the artist explains.

“I have called the show Garden of Ideas, as they are based on images from a garden. They are the fruits of the imagination.”

Paintings and drawings in the exhibition will be on view in the William Gallery and the cafe area. Greetings cards and postcards will be on sale.

The North Light show is the first of three planned exhibitions. Opening times are Fridays and Saturdays, 10am-4pm and on Friday, July 29, there is a preview from 7-9pm.