Melbourne artist Carolyn O’Neill draws, sculpts and creates mixed media collages but prefers painting.
After being inspired by a colourful mural that was painted by some parents at her son's kinder she enquired about local art classes and went on to pursue formal art studies.
She uses art as her therapeutic outlet during stressful times, which fits with her former career as a psychiatric nurse before she became a professional artist.
Carolyn's inspirations are biblical themes, the emotion of music and fossicking through op-shops for the latest addition to her Mid-Century collection like home wares and furniture.
Over time Carolyn has developed her own aesthetic that is largely inspired by her obsession with midcentury modernism for its clean lines and timeless designs.
An ongoing fascination with how objects connect together in their simplest form also influences her work.
In 2016 Carolyn founded Modrevival; a collection of modern greeting cards and prints which are produced locally.
Carolyn is currently represented by galleries in Victoria and Queensland.
Photo credits: Nixz Kerr, Joseph Kanaan, John Walters and Zoe Lyon.
The act of self-expression inspires and motivates me. The ’action’ or the physical outpouring of one’s inner self becomes a connective force. This raw but intangible energy is what I attempt to convey onto canvas.
I’m inspired by the early abstract expressionists from the 1950’s such as De Kooning, Pollock, Motherwell and Kline. Like them I feel that I am unable to express myself through representation. I desire to move beyond the recognisable ‘surface’; evoking a deeper emotional response.
Much of this work is autobiographical; depicting my inner world and emotions. They are similar to journal entries that are painted rather than written with references to biblical themes and the inspiration of music.
My work is generally unplanned; it is spontaneous and intuitive. I tend to work at a frenetic pace which I find both exhausting and energizing. It expresses a rollercoaster of emotions in varying degrees. The exploration of colour, line and form are a continuum in my creative process.
The physical and emotional tension in this work is evident in every brushstroke and drip of paint. It is this visual dialogue that allows me the freedom to express not what is seen; but what is felt.
“Abstract art is similar to a piece of music which may not describe anything tangible or tell a story; yet may stir emotions. An abstract painting depends on colour and design to do the same. “