Using high voltage spark discharge imaging and X-Ray photography, Sydney-based mid-career artist Sean O’Connell explores the strange forces that move within the walls of our suburban homes.
In Suburban Spirits (2017), Sean O’Connell explores the memories and energetic imprints of his family home. Imaging objects from his grandparents who owned the house, repairs hidden deep within its walls, and the ephemeral traces of spirit and voice, layers of force and presence are recorded directly onto photographic film. The images reveal the people that once inhabited this space, through the traces of what they left behind — mentally, physically, and energetically — imprinted into the architecture and its matter of plaster, wood and steel. The images are directly recorded without camera, through carefully controlled electrical discharge into objects placed over large format film, x-ray bursts through walls, laser deflections of audio across mirrors, and point-source photograms. The combined use of these processes blurs the edges of science and photography, and reveals the potent vibrancy of matter. Original film images are presented here
backlit in wooden boxes, revealing their detail, for intimate inspection.
Sean O’Connell has recently completed his Doctorate at Sydney College of the Arts under Mikala Dwyer, exploring processes to image the underlying energetics of matter. His work ranges across photography and video, sometimes employing installation, sound, and kinetic art, and drawing upon the mechanical jewellery
he has been creating for over 15 years.
His work has won awards both here and abroad, and O’Connell is represented in public and private collections, including the National Gallery of Victoria and the National Gallery of Australia.
In conversation event with Sean O’Connell, Ioulia Terizis, and Sabrina Baker.
2pm, Sunday 18 June 2017.
Listen in here.