About Ciara O'Neill.
Ciara O'Neill is a Dublin based artist and NCAD graduate with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art and Visual Culture. After spending the majority of her educational years focusing on the medium of paint, Ciara decided she wanted to broaden her artistic abilities and began delving into the world of digital illustration. Ciara is interested in themes of representation, marginalisation, the body, gender and sexuality.
In 2016, she graduated from the National College of Art and Design and went on to exhibit her project Imperfect Bodies at the Agora Rollberg in Berlin. The work consists of soft sculptures formed from thick layers of household paint which are shaped and moulded to represent women’s genitals. The goal of her work is to oppose the traditional trop of the female nude in art history: hairless and perfectly formed, which neglects to represent bodily functions, orifices and genitals. Thoughts of Irish womanhood are also woven throughout the pieces. The work offers a commentary on Ireland's abortion debate. By linking women's lack of control of the representation of their body throughout art history and the denial of women's reproductive rights by the Irish state, the artist brings forward the notion that women are still not equal to men in this modern world.
In 2017, Ciara, along with other NCAD graduates formed the feminist collective Awkward Interjection. It was at the collectives first exhibition where Ciara debuted her book Me and My Depression, a piece which examines mental illness and how it can affect ones self view of their body. The work was born after reading Elm by the poet Sylvia Plath, in which Plath speaks fearfully of a dark, ominous creature which inhabits her:
"All day I feel its soft, feathery turnings, its malignity."
Me and My Depression depicts a woman and her depression - a female and feathery counterpart - in various situations. It illustrates a journey of a woman coming to terms with her illness and learning to live with it.
She is one third of 4 Walls, a collective that raises money in aid of Dublin’s housing crisis and homeless ness. View their instagram here.
View exhibition history here.