I’m Molly O’Neill, I studied Illustration Animation at Kingston School of Art and I am now studying for my Master’s in Fine Art at the University of Brighton. I have worked freelance for the last few years in both illustration and animation jobs, working with companies such as Be the Fox and Unilever. After working freelance for a while I decided I wanted to have more focus on the concept of my work and since studying for my Master’s I have realised that the focus of my work is usually around nature.
Due to the current climate crisis, I have been driven to focus my work around empathy for nature and how this can bring us closer to understanding the importance of looking after the environment. I have focused my research on “Deep ecology”. This is a term brought to us by the Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess, in 1972 and I’m working with moving image as a tool to understand our connection to nature.
my practice, I use collage as a portal between a contemporary world and a romantic past which links current and historical ideas. Collage makes my work look timeless, separating it from being attached to a specific era. I use moving-image to explore my emotional response to different texts presenting a contemporary perspective towards literature from the past. I use poems that explore themes I can relate to, which lets me offer a modern perspective on past experiences and see what connects or disconnects them.
I explore my ideas through the use of moving image work as well as collages and acrylic paintings. Painting allows me to communicate with a space whilst spending time with it. I like to work with a mixture of memory and reference images rather than in situ as it helps me unpack an experience and reflect on it and what I felt at that moment. I aim to work instinctively to allow myself to respond to ideas rather than attempting to create an inauthentic narrative. I work with fictional and non-fictional spaces to create a tapestry of context for the subject. The work is a meditation of a poem or idea through the visual language of moving images, paintings or collages.