O’Connell has described a painting process in which her own handling of paint is secondary to the potential for chance and caprice to inform the work. Compositions are often dismantled or obliterated by unpredictable gestures, causing them to digress or to re-iterate a motif that has endured within them. It is an explorative process whereby the urge to glean a sense of satisfaction from chance aesthetic unity is constantly set aside by O’Connell who continues to reset paintings and pose contradictions within them. She is an artist who is less interested in controlling the medium or imposing a resolve and instead she allows the paintings to coalesce on their own terms.
Sometimes, tentative suggestions seek each other out and converse across a plain of faded palimpsest and they are let alone – their frivolity contrasting with the dense residual patina of the paintings own history. In this way the forms, colours, marks, washes and tones within the paintings cooperate to create a sense of drama. In some instances, paintings appear to have been imprinted upon each other giving a sense of resonance amidst as cacophony of marks. The paintings inform each other, grow from one another and in some cases are cannibalised by each other recurring as collage elements and composites of another painting.
Extract from Text by Ingrid Lyons