Verity O'Connor

Artist Statement

My intention in my current work is to create imagined cinematic snapshots of interior scenes that blend together a sense of nostalgia with voyeuristic undertones. I explore themes of isolation, emptiness and symbolism. I also take inspiration from film and theatre set design. I try to translate the feelings I have when I look at these sets and transfer them into my own work to create cinematic stills using paint and charcoal.

In these imaginary spaces there is an inherent creepiness and almost claustrophobic undertone. I aim to create compositions that could be a still from a film. Simultaneously, I aim to provide a sense that something may be about to happen, but the viewer is unaware of the wider context.

I want to create a surreal, dream like atmosphere. My compositions don’t necessarily have a realistic feel to them. I don’t feel the need for them to make sense either in terms of what is happening or the sense of scale within the image. Certain objects are placed within the works to provide implicit suggestions as to what might be happening. The drawings and paintings are purposefully left slightly ambiguous to allow the observer to come to their own conclusions.

Curtains feature prominently within my work. I am fascinated by them because they are both simultaneously a decorative commodity (often used to establish status and wealth) and a device used to conceal things from others. I am interested in the contrast of what people choose to show and conceal. In my work the curtains block the viewer from seeing the whole picture. No context to the situation is provided.

I am heavily inspired by vintage interiors, drawing inspiration from a variety of places such as images found online, literature, or objects I see in day-to-day life. I tend to be drawn to spaces that have a kitschy feel to them. These imagined rooms are not supposed to be ‘set’ in a particular decade. They exist outside a particular point in time as I merge imagery from different decades together.

Films I continue to be inspired by include Vertigo (1958, Hitchcock), The Birds (1963, Hitchcock), The Love Witch (2016, Anna Biller), Panic (1963, John Gilling) and Eraserhead (1977, David Lynch).

Artists inspiring my practice include: Magritte, Edward Hopper, Tamara de Lempika, Cathy Lomax, Juno Calypso, Meredith Frampton and Mark Rothko.