Evie O'Connor

 

Evie O’Connor’s background in textiles has heavily contributed to the stylistic and decorative qualities found in her work. She imagines both a beautiful and droll environment, continually referencing her upbringing in the rural North of England through unconventional landscapes, tainted with some form of industrialisation. Pristine, untouched landscapes are rejected in favour of more recognisable, contemporary scenes that could be seen from a daily commute.

At the core of her practice are themes of class, identity and isolation. For her, the study of people is an important and highly precious form of documentation, choosing to paint those closest to her. The mood is intimate, private, relaxed and often a little surreal with a delicate balance between the stifling banal and an unfamiliar exoticism. Familiar domestic environments provide the setting for portraits of relatives, believing value can be found in the exploration and unveiling of this personal experience. These portraits continue to question the fact that historically, only a certain person of status is worthy of a portrait and therefore, our attention.

Her work can be crass and political at times, vulgar statements surround crude portraits of party leaders painted on large wooden drawers or ashtrays, surrounded by symbols of privilege and wealth. Her love of folk art can be seen in the strange naivety lingering in her style as well as the collection of objects used as surface for the paint. Plates and vases are adorned with scenes and symbols in bold, evocative colours, creating specific decorative objects usually found in the home.