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ADVANCING THE ARTS ACROSS MARYLAND

Bryan O'Neill

Bryan O'Neill

Artist Work

Magnolia
2015
Archival Inkjet Print on Fine Art Paper
Pink Magnolia
2015
Archival Inkjet Print on Fine Art Paper
Disrupted
2015
Ink on Mulberry Paper
25"x36"
Limbs (branching)
2015
Digital Photograph
Bark
2015
Archival Inkjet Print on Fine Art Paper
Limbs (fallen)
2015
Digital Photograph

Artist Information

County
Harford County
Phone
732 272 7378
Artistic Category

Visual Arts

Artist Statement

In my work I address the relationship between humanity and nature. In today’s modern societies there is a splintering connection between humans and the natural environment which surrounds them. It seems as if many of us forget that humans are inherently natural beings as we destroy our environment and envelop ourselves within manufactured surroundings. From an early age I drew much of my inspiration from the natural world around me. Experiencing the contrasting environments of the city and the woods I began to consider where the human element fit into it all and what really separates us from the rest of the Earth’s life. I explore the paradoxical relationship with nature many of us encounter living in the modern world. Many of us strive to reduce our carbon footprint and coexist with nature, but faced with the overwhelmingly destructive forces humanity inflicts upon the Earth it appears as a purely cosmetic and surface level change, like taping leaves to your face and calling yourself a tree. However this does not mean that the attempt to balance our impact on the earth is not worthwhile. Much of my work involves the juxtaposition of the human body against flora. This often morphs the figures into something almost comically natural. In this placement I relate patterns and structures found in trees and plants to structures of the body. The constant cycle of flora feeding into fauna and fauna feeding into flora is represented. I tend to focus on contrasting elements and bridging a connection between them. Central and minimalist compositions with chaotic elements, complete stillness brimming with anticipated motion, seemingly random natural elements given a rigid structure; all coming together in unison. Working in mixed media I feel the need to connect with the things I create in a tactile sense. From cutting wood to hand burnishing prints I find solace in repetitive physical tasks. This becomes apparent in my penchant for repetition and patterns in my work. This tendency continues into my photography giving me the desire to create photos rather than just take them. I explore my relationship with nature through touch and create physical representations of it to photograph. I find that creating this work helps to establish a deeper connection with nature and understand what, if anything, sets us humans apart from the rest of earth’s life. I plan to bring more motion into my work and examine the place of modern technology in relation to the environment and humanity. I wish to explore the ephemeral essence of life and mankind, and its relation to the forces of nature and time.

Artist Bio

Bryan O'Neill a photographer and artist living and working in the Baltimore area. I'm currently a student at Towson University on track to graduate in 2016 with a BFA in photo imaging. As an extremely driven individual I work well alone, but also thrive on the interaction and input of others. I work effectively and efficiently in and out of the studio, specializing in strobist techniques while taking every oppurtunity to capitalize on natural light. My work often involves nature and bright color as well as a bit of humor.