John O’Carroll is a contemporary artist with an interesting backstory in Egyptology. A robust art practitioner throughout his life, O’Carroll continues to divide his time between his studio gallery in north Cornwall, his winter studio in southern Egypt, and Amsterdam where he is represented by the Roger Katwijk gallery.
On first viewing O’Carroll’s abstract paintings and mixed media wall pieces sit neatly within British and European modernism and yet they are set free from historical context. A master with pigment, O’Carroll’s airy minimalist paintings are built from impressions of the spaces through which he has traveled. ‘Making’ is fundamental to his sense of self and John can’t imagine life without the flow of creative expression. Over the years O’Carroll has explored a range of traditional and modern painting techniques and his home-made paint from raw pigments has roots in his study of ancient civilisations.
Artists and poets are often driven by what Carl Jung describes as the soul wound – in Greek mythology, the learned centaur Chiron was the healer who could not heal himself of the wound inflicted by the poisoned arrow of Heracles. John O’Carroll is drawn to arid landscapes and barren English moors which invite a man to scream into the void: When he was six John and his mother went to live in west Texas where he was surrounded by imposing vastness. As a teenager he saw the big and the wide of Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico. O’Carroll’s art whispers of these unpeopled landscapes which he distills into elegant abstract panoramas and richly pigmented roundels.
John O’Carroll’s work can be found in private collections and corporate collections such as those of Akzo Nobel, AMC, VUmc, Loyens & Loeff, Accenture and the NCM British Headquarters in Cardiff, The British Embassy in Cairo and the Netherlands Flemish Institute in Cairo.
Holly Soloman Gallery, New York – USA
Galerie Roger Katwijk, Amsterdam – NL
Nanky De Vreeze Gallery – NL
PAN – Amsterdam – NL
Kunst Rai, Amsterdam – NL
PROJECTS + COLLECTIONS:
Treasures of Ancient Rome – BBC 4
Treasures of Ancient Egypt – BBC 4
Valley of Nobles – Supreme Council for Antiquities
Saquarra Valley Temple Project – Ted Brock
Valley of Kings – Ted Brock; NL Embassy – Egypt
Holly Soloman Collection – USA
British Embassy, Mondrain Foundation – NL