Artist of the Week: Lisa O’Donnell

Artist of the Week: Lisa O’Donnell

PopUp Painting’s ‘artist of the week’ is PopUp team member Lisa O’Donnell. Lisa O’Donnell is an Irish artist based in London. She studied her MA Fine Art at Central St.Martins and has a studio in North East London.

O’Donnell’s practice predominantly takes the from of painting however she sometimes makes work in other media including Polaroid photography and video animation.

Lisa O’Donnell’s practice explores history through painting in parallel to our process of storing memories. Contemplating both the private and the political, the initial subject matter most frequently comes from archives of photographs and newspapers as well as being influenced by oral histories and stories she collects. Recent projects have developed from images collected from newspaper, cultural and historical archives focusing on the Irish Diaspora in London and New York during the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s. She explores the mnemonic possibilities of painting by focusing on three key areas: working form the archive, memory and identity in relation to exploring her present day experience through contemplating the recent past. These paintings made from archived photographic images explore personal experiences and history entwined in the broader social/historical context. Her work does not so much document history as give new life to moments of the past.

One of the central issues of her practice is the mnemonic possibilities of painting. She explores the similarities between painting, memory and history in relation to having a free hand in terms of its selective capabilities, abstractness, fluidity, as well as

creative license. With her work she pushes the boundaries in terms of how much narrative, can be contained the further the images are abstracted and absorbed into the painting. She is interested in the blurring and sometimes subconscious editing that takes place in

relation to story telling and historical documentation from the past and the images, signifiers and elements that break through as well as the ones that are left behind.She also uses abstract elements and specific colour studies as a way to pull the figurative work apart, while at the same time bringing a connective element to groupings of work. Some

of the colour line studies have developed as a physical and time based map of making the paintings, with each line made using a colour from the figurative work.

Check out Lisa’s website here:

We will be featuring Lisa’s work all week on Facebook and Twitter, so keep an eye out for more about the artist there, but in the meantime here are some of our favourite works by the artist:


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