Carolyn O'Neill was raised in Bendigo, Victoria and currently resides in Port Pirie, South Australia.
After seeing a mural painted by parents at her son's kindergarten, she decided to pursue local art classes and then onto formal art studies.
Both modernism and the mid-century modernist aesthetic influence her work. One of her favourite past times is opportunity shopping. She is much like a bower bird filling her home with furnishings and objects thrifted and found.
Her work is intuitive; painting her internal dialogue whilst seeking to push boundaries and delve beneath the surface. Each work is a stepping stone to the next; they are all interconnected.
O'Neill's work has been shortlisted for several high profile South Australian prizes including the Gallery M Contemporary Art Prize, The Kennedy Prize and the Tatiara Art Prize. Her work can also be seen the Arts Collective Clair Valley.
Photo credits, Stuart O'Neill
Paying homage to the early abstract expressionist painters such as De Kooning, Pollock, Motherwell and Kline is essential as their work initially inspired me in this direction. Amongst others they were the pioneers of this avant garde movement paving the way for artists such as myself and have become a continual influence in my work.
Each piece begins with stream of conscious mark making which soon build up into layers. The oil paint glides onto the canvas when combined with medium. Both opacity and transparency weave through, interact and intersect.
Passages of paint transition form one mark to the next. Whilst scratches and scrapings indent the surface revealing the layers beneath. In some areas the paint is given space to drip and meld into form.
Despite these initial marks and layers, most pieces are dismantled and rebuilt. This editing process of addition and subtraction strengthens it's construction and serves to unify the work.