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© James Rielly

Reference URL

Hold 1997

Not on display

This photograph looks like a child's school photograph, artificially lit and stiffly composed, and magnified to an imposing scale. The ambiguous red mark on the boy's head, may be a wound, scar, growth or hole. It is emblematic of something wrong, yet seems almost proudly displayed. The pallid colour of the skin suggests disease, illness, or even a faded photograph of a dead person. The title refers to the desire to 'hold' on to the present and fix it in the memory. Rielly's work presents a private world of pain and comedy, and it is unclear whether his images are ironic, straightforward, deeply sad or deliberately provocative.


  • Acc. No. GMA 4209
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 198.20 x 167.60 cm
  • Credit Purchased 1998