Port Pirie artist Carolyn O’Neill is a self-confessed nomad having relocated interstate and within states for her husband’s mining career on several occasions. O’Neill and her family recently moved to Port Pirie where the beautiful Flinders Ranges inspire her current body of artwork.
O’Neill predominantly paints in oil on canvas in an abstract expressionist style. Inspired by a colorful mural at her son’s kindergarten painted by local parents, she decided to pursue art classes and later formal art studies and now paints full time in her home studio.
Over time O’Neill has developed her own aesthetic that is largely inspired by the abstract expressionist movement and obsession with mid-century modernism. One of her favourite past-times is op shopping and collecting all things mid-century and beyond. Much Like a bower bird, she fills her home with furnishings and objects thrifted and found, including a large collection of art and design books.
Stemming from the lived experience as a psychiatric nurse, her paintings frequently explore deeper emotional and spiritual themes; often inspired by the inspiration of music, biblical references while layering metaphors. O’Neill’s work is intuitive; painting her internal dialogue while seeking to push boundaries and create something raw and fresh. Each work is much like a stepping stone to next as they are all inter connected.
O’Neill’s work has been short listed for several high profile South Australian prizes including the Gallery M Contemporary Art Prize, The Kennedy Prize and the Tatiara Art Prize