Hazel O’Sullivan machines horizons.
From green fields to city centres, from Portugal to Berlin, Dublin, to London and back again before turning up somewhere else this is an artist on the move, swiftly transiting between systems her work takes wing.
She can turn time into space. This is an artist who can animate the old even the dead. Patterns are put to work. Eccentric, funny and matter-of-fact diagram worlds are indicated rather than universally given. As we fall we read our place in their surprising stillness. Partial and on the move: This is an artist who knows her own time is out of time.
Shop window as screen is a kind of turnaround, the ideal kitchen slips out of grasp and out of fashion, wryly everything touched is a project to bring everything back again: all at once. Superficiality and heavy metallic polish grind and it isn’t so much that the perfection projected collapses as she is able to fix its disappearance and put it to work anew with a smile.
Her work plays with time, sometime ultra-thin memorial, sometimes beat group avatar, oftentimes elusive and mysterious. Always nostalgia is put in motion and turned around. Nothing is real and yet a thin veneer sideswipes us into lost depths, spinning us reaching for the safety of something like a kitchen counter or a brand new gravestone, or that tempting pub nook playlist.
In painterly terms light and shadow are engineered, there’s an engaging darkness at odds with the clarity of her mock sculptural syntax. Her work has the ability to stand in, to stand for, there is an optimistic enough drama to it, a poise that puts us, viewers, audience, lookers and readers, into whole other dimensions.
All at once.
Text by Phil King