Through acrylic paint the work examines the domestic space and an individual’s engagement with it, challenging the comfort it should provide. I try to eliminate the sense of comfort that we associate with the home and turn it to something else, to explore a way in which a sense of unease or anxiety can be represented within a space which should not enable these feelings. The intent is to take the familiarity and comfort of the domestic and present the viewer with an altering perception of this familiar space. The work is informed by the ‘unreliable narrator’ which is often found in literature. This is when the story is told from an individual who cannot guarantee credibility to the reader, and the truth is coloured by their own experience and perception. An example of this is Shirley Jackson’s Haunting of Hill House, whose narrator’s mental state colours the perception of their surroundings. I am interested in how I, in my position as painter, I can take on the role of the ‘unreliable narrator’ and alter the space that I am representing, potentially taking it further and further away from its true self. This work is also the result of research on ontology and phenomenology which I learnt of from Gaston Bachelard’s Poetics of Space (1957). I am interested in how ontology is the study of what is, the reality and what exists, whereas phenomenology is more so focused on what appears to be and centred around the way an individual experiences these things that ‘are’. To reinforce this notion of what is the truth and just perception, some of the work plays on well-known imagery such as that of The Wizard Oz, a land which offers unusual imagery such as the witch squashed by a falling house.
Siobhan O Connor | Student - MTU Crawford - Fine Art
Title:Untitled • Medium:Acrylic paint on panel • Dimensions/Duration/Format: two 55x40cm panels, one 42x30cm