MAY 9 – JUNE 6
After more than a decade in front of a computer screen and behind a lense – Adelaide-based graphic/web designer and photographer Shannon O’Neill is making an imprint on the art world.
The 34 year-old’s artworks draw on her skills as a graphic designer, photographer and painter. They feature vibrant colours, patterns and repeating motifs.
As a highly accomplished illustrator, in front of the computer screen O’Neill lets her imagination run wild to create highly precise, detailed art. This is the opposite to her painting style, which is expressive, fluid and verges on the abstract.
O’Neill’s first series ‘Hola’ was inspired by her travels, Mexican wrestling masks and the Day of the Dead Festival. The end result is a collection of characters that are unique and enchanting.
“’Hola’ was the first series I released so I have a particular fondness for my nine ‘Day of the Dead’-inspired girls – Lady Rose, Mummy, Peaches & Cream, Julia, Peace, Audrey, Ruby Red Lips, Tweet Me and Opposite to Black,” O’Neill says.
“I have a fascination for the Mexican culture, flowers and patterns. It was a fantastic opportunity to combine the three into a completely original series, with each face having its own unique identity and personality.
“People either love or hate them, but I would prefer to create a response than just to blend in.”
O’Neill’s latest series, ‘Worlds Apart’, is a modern twist – think mid-century meets 2014 abstract.
O’Neill uses the barest essential shapes in a monochromatic palette to create bold statements, while incorporating subtle splashes of hand painted purple, gold and dusty pink to soften the harshness.
“I can’t help but explore many different techniques and styles,” she says.
“I love the fact I can be precise with my digital illustration but also be expressive through my painting.”
O’Neill’s popular ‘Animals’ series also combines these conflicting styles.
Using loose brushstrokes, O’Neill hand paints a vivid-coloured background and photographs it in her studio. She then digitally illustrates the subject and combines the two to create a contemporary collage. Currently the series includes a puppy, kitten, bird and a deer with O’Neill planning to add to the collection.
You can view the full series of prints at