I was introduced to the work of Nicola O’Neill whilst
curating the touring exhibition, “Barbarella” in 1997 as O’Neill
uses dolls as her subject, creating alternative realities which comment and
reflect on her own experiences.
O’Neill uses the doll as a symbol of
the perfect person to populate the recreation of scenes which are familiar
to her and which also strike a chord in us. She photographs the dolls in locations
around Swansea and Gower where she lives and works. There is a strong undercurrent
of reminiscence in this imagery, bringing a personal element to this postcard-like
As an artist O’Neill is aware of the attributed meanings
and symbolism attached to the use of these archetypal icons of childhood but
manipulates the subject matter and media in a way that the work contrasts benevolence
and brooding, the apparent versus the ambiguous.
Jane Brumfield (nee Jane Thomas)
College of Art & Design BA Fine Art
Andrews University M. Phil Maritime Archaeology
Overall Swansea Arts Workshop Gallery Swansea
Push the Boat
Out Swansea Arts Workshop Gallery Swansea
and Doll Imagery Kent County Council (touring exhibition)
Nation Eisteddfod of Wales Llanelli
Davies Gallery Newtown
The Galery@sbc Heriot Watt University
ECO Exeter Phoenix
Welsh Artist of the year St David’s Hall Cardiff
Mission Gallery Swansea
Imagery Published or used in Advertising
Big Issue Wales
Channel 4 TV
Board Stupid Snowboard program
West Wales Motorcaravan
up photographic documentation for Mission Gallery Swansea; photographs
used for publicity and published material, documentation of each show.
2002 - 2008
for numerous contemporary artists; creating photographic images for catalogues
and critical reviews, documenting their shows nationally. Photographic
work for advertising campaigns.
2007 - 2008
Housing Association; 10 images using dolls and model sets in situ around
Swansea, depicting City Living.