Sally O'Neill

Us and our cutlery drawer, 2021

51 × 41 cm
At a time when we prepare for our wedding, I find myself reflecting on the relationship I have shared with my partner over the last four years. Although our lives are now very intertwined, there are still physical indicators around us of an old life. Our cutlery drawer is one reminder of the time before we knew each other. The drawer is a combination of cutlery and other assorted items from our past single lives. Not one item in our cutlery drawer has been purchased or gifted since we started seeing each other. I see our cutlery drawer as a poetic metaphor for our relationship. Our couple identity is made up of who were are as individuals, but together we somehow make a more complete whole.

Through the forms of painting, drawing and animation I seek to give the mundane new emphasis, compelling my audience to consider the value of the ordinary in their own lives. I choose subjects that are low in the hierarchy of the art canon; people, animals, objects and everyday moments. In choosing content that I have an emotional connection with, my art is infused with nostalgia and a fixation on the prejudice of memory. Largely autobiographical, I seek to transform my story into a shared narrative through the conversation my art has with audiences who bring an array of experiences, personalities and opinions.
Sally O’Neill is a Goulburn based emerging artist who works primarily in drawing, painting and animation. She completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a major in Painting and Drawing from the then College of Fine Arts at University of New South Wales in 2010. O’Neill is employed as Education Officer at Goulburn Regional Art Gallery, a position she has held since 2013. Sally has exhibited extensively in group shows in the Goulburn region and has had two solo exhibitions, ‘There’s Nothing to See Here’ at M16 Artspace under the Regional Initiative in 2020 and ‘Chasing Cloud 9’ at 99 Chairs, Goulburn in 2016. She holds a considerable commission portfolio and has created five murals in the Goulburn region in the last twelve months. She was first prize winner at Goulburn Annual Art Award in 2019 in the acrylics section and finalist in Fisher’s Ghost Contemporary Art prize at Campbelltown Art Centre 2020 and John Copes Portrait Prize at Bowral Art Gallery 2020. She is currently working on a series of portraits celebrating the inspiring yet hidden lives of women in her home town of Goulburn.

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