Hi, my name is Roger O Reilly, and I am known for my work as an illustrator and storyboard artist for productions such that the TV series ‘Vikings’, advertisements, and periodicals, however, an abiding passion since my childhood days has been lighthouses.
Since 2017, I have illustrated over 350 lighthouses from across the UK and Ireland.
For me and indeed so many people like me, Lighthouses capture the imagination in a way that few other structures do. These iconic buildings evoke a keen sense of the romance and adventure of life at sea and a reassuringly benevolent presence when illuminated at night.
I grew up near the mouth of the River Boyne on Ireland’s east coast. A few minutes from my door were three unusual estuarine lighthouses perched among the sand dunes. Drogheda North, East, and West lights were truncated structures that stood like Daleks on stilts, gazing forlornly out to sea and only coming to life as the dusk crept in.
Inspired by the travel posters of the 30s and 40s, my collection includes iconic and historical lighthouses from across Britain. Some we’ll be familiar with from the Shipping Forecast, and some are more obscure structures that dot the nation’s myriad harbours and estuaries.
There are lighthouses with historical significance and amazing design, those that tell stories of pirates and plunder, ones you can stay in and ones with unexplained ghost stories.
Six years ago, I started illustrating lighthouses along Ireland’s south coast. This quickly grew into a collection that culminated in my award-winning book “Lighthouses of Ireland” which was published in 2018.
Shortly thereafter, I spent a holiday in Cornwall walking the cliffs at the nearby Lizard Point lighthouse inspired a new project which before you knew it, had expanded to include all of Britain.
350 and still counting, my collection is by no means complete. Bit by bit the missing pieces will be added creating a comprehensive compilation of our best-loved sentinels and beacons.