By Daniel Carr
It’s easy to get lost in a Carol O’Neill collage. Why? It’s the countless pathways the eyes can follow and the clear and positive emotion evoked through the work. While some invite feelings of distraction and overstimulation, many present a calm and graceful view on harmony. The use of contrasting materials in her collages show that she’s exceptional at taking the image in her mind’s eye and finding the best way of putting it to the canvas. For her, it’s the greatest satisfaction also: “I get the most pleasure out of working with collages when all the pieces come together and I get to see it finished,” explains O’Neill.
Ms. O’Neill, an award-winning artist, has lived in Highland Park for much of her life and moved to Parker at River Road in August. She is a member of the Arts Collective of Highland Park and served as Middlesex County Administrative Director of the Arts High School and the Middle School of the Arts. She is particularly proud of her exhibit at Johnson and Johnson’s Rotunda Gallery in 2015.
Carol’s work was featured at New Brunswick’s Alfa Art Gallery earlier this fall with her collection entitled “Carolesque-Eclectic Art”. After attending the opening reception and viewing her work, it becomes clear what makes a work “Carolesque” – her commanding use of colors, layers, and imagery lend to provocative, meaningful, and unique pieces of art.
Some works, such as the award-winning “Inside Doors”, present 3 open doors besides picture frames and a plain room with windows. This collage is housed in a clean white frame with matting. Although at first glance it seems imprisoning, the many darker colors used in the collage are ultimately overtaken by the white elements (accompanied with the matting). This provides a sense of hope that overwhelms any shadows we see.
Carol continues to create collages to express her views and feelings. Like her art, she is provocative, meaningful, and #Withit.