Carol O’Connor has a BA honours degree from the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, Ireland. Prior to this she worked for a number of years as an administrator in the Toradh Gallery and as a youth arts worker. She has had three solo exhibitions in Ireland, most recently in 2009 in the Solstice Arts Centre in Co. Meath and in the Watergate gallery in Kilkenny in 2010. She won the ‘Going Solo’ art award from Meath County Arts Office in 2009 and she has work in the collections of Axa Insurance, the Office of Public Works, Meath Co. Council and Bank of Ireland.
My work has arisen out of a need to paint. It is a personal response to the world I inhabit. It attempts to describe through colour and images, a sense of longing, the need to feel secure and the desire to escape. Colour plays an important role and images which appear to be playful are often filled with emptiness and a feeling of loss. Real and fantasy worlds collide in an effort to evaluate and draw some meaning from an often perplexing and increasingly chaotic world.
Houses and dwellings often feature in the work. This can be interpreted in a number of ways. Firstly, on a personal level they are my own longing for security and sanctuary in an unstable world. While there is a longing and a real obvious need to be housed it is also a trap and a place where one can feel smothered and tethered to. Secondly, they symbolize our recent economic travails and allude to the property bubble/downfall, another potential trap, where ones dream can easily turn into a nightmare.
Some of the houses are precariously balanced on matchstick type legs ready to snap at any minute and appear to be vulnerable and at the same time unreachable. The pastel or candy colours express a desire to escape the day to day realities. Estates and flats are bathed in evening sunlight and dwell beneath an eternal pink or blue sky. Other scenes in contrast, reference romanticism by depicting images of mountains, sea and sky. Again it is an attempt through the act of painting to fuse the fantasy realm (an ideal natural world) with the actuality of day to day struggles of life and living.
We are delighted to have Carol O’Connor in the Gallery, our push to find and promote new artists is ongoing and inspiring.