Kim O'Neil


My painting and montage uses the paper minutiae we all leave behind throughout our lives, transforming them into gigantic hand painted monuments.

Each item is fragmented and meticulously reproduced on a massive scale in very thin layers of acrylic paints, giving it a print-like quality.  This fragmental approach allows the artist to manipulate the viewer's gaze, censoring or emphasising its elements to convey particular themes.  The viewer is devoid of the wider context, prompting them to re-contextualize the fragment on their own accord.

The change in scale, also, illuminates the fragment's content; this acts as a metamorphosis of both form and meaning, magnifying connotations that may have gone unnoticed in its original scale and transient form.  Subsequently, the mundanity of the subject is elevated, giving the paintings a transcendental quality.

Newspaper cuttings, certificates, tickets, packaging, receipts and ephemera are aggrandized; they become memory-fragments, denoting a personal narrative, tracing a history, or even conveying a societal shift.  They are fragments of personal and private experience. But through decontextualization they are given a universality that allows space for the viewer's own private and emotive response.

The new work is a series of medical diagrams that have been compromised, defaced, deconstructed and reimagined. The paintings draw from my early work using both the visual language of the eye and words and number data, the two languages working at the same time. The visceral romanticism coupled with the more structured parts of the diagram conveys a whisper of a narrative, a glimpse into my relationship with the body and works as a critique on how we perceive the humans body in different circumstances. It's a journey from visceral reality to the very removed scientific diagrams of the body.