Simon O'Carrigan

About the artist: Simon O’Carrigan was born in Bendigo, Victoria in 1985. He completed his Higher School certificate in New South Wales at the Blue Mountains Grammar School on a 75% scholarship for the visual arts. Since commencing a BFA (Painting) at the VCA in 2004, he has focused on painting in oils; but his practice also involves photography, collage, animation and video.

He is, first and foremost, a painter. While his practice has also included video and animated works, they tend to function more as a method to inform his painting.
The current body of work is a result of research into the phenomenology of the digital age. Modern art was spurred on by the age of industry, and the reproduction of images possible on a massive scale. The post-modern age sees that effect multiplied to hyperbolic proportions via the internet and other digital communications technologies.
Simon O’Carrigan’s paintings portray his attempts to digest and filter through the plethora of visual stimuli that we are all forced to live with.
He makes collages from his own photos, particularly of places and people that hold significance in his personal life. The place may be his local community, somewhere he has travelled to, or the occasional found postcard or digital image. The collages are a mash-up of time and space – perceptions are recorded in the original source images, then time and space are conflated into one new image.
The collages are then used as source images for the paintings themselves.
In an age where image manipulation is so easily accessible to anyone with a computer, the artist draws attention to the manipulation of imagery. The trompe l'oeil effect, used in Simon’s translation of collage to canvas, at once fragments the space and confuses the eye – but often it contrasts with the ‘snug fit’ that may be apparent between the pieces of the puzzle.
The digital age has ushered in a new uncertainty to our lives. Nothing is fixed, and everything is fluid. We fear invisible threats, and we fear becoming invisible. There is a deep-rooted ambivalence toward the new possibilities (restrictions?) of our time.
Images are everywhere, and they are being reduced to data - wireless data, overflow, visual pollution in the cities, the media invasion of our lounge-rooms, the preoccupations none of us can shake with documenting everything, the proliferation of cameras of all kinds.

It is in this context that Simon O’Carrigan seeks to pluck fragments from the air, he constructs solutions to a visual puzzle, and fixes the result, pastes it down into place, locks time and space together.
Our perceptions are constantly shifting – are they something we can ever lock down? The strength of Simon’s painting, in this digital age, comes from his ability to present strong visual images of perceptions to us.

Education: 2003 - Present
Victorian College of The Arts :
Bachelor of Fine Art (Painting)

Exhibitions: Apr 2006
‘123 TV’ - Channel 31, Melbourne.

Video work ‘Avatar’ played on 123 TV, April 16th, Channel 31.

Dec 2005
The Self Portrait Show.

Artholes Gallery, 114 Gertrude St, Fitzroy.

Nov 2005
24seven Gallery Video Night

Glitch Bar, 318 St Georges Rd, Nth Fitzroy.

Oct 2005
VCA Painting Department Show.

VCA Student Gallery, Dodds St, Southbank.

Sept 2005

Margaret Lawrence Galleries, Dodds St, Southbank.
Annual Student Union-run exhibition.

May 2005
VCA Painting Department Show.

VCA Student Gallery, Dodds St, Southbank.

May 2005
‘Slips of The Mind’.

A ‘Centre for Ideas’ Subject Related Group Exhibition.
Held in the VCA Sculpture Department.

Sep 2004
‘Kiss My... After Effects’

Public projections onto buildings of video works in Carlton and Fitzroy.

Various Group Shows within the VCA

Various shows from the Painting and Art Theory Departments; as well as the Student Union run ‘Proud’.

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