PCA Member Q&A: Jill O’Sullivan

Y camau I, 2015, 74 x 62 cm, etching, spirit aquatint.

‘I pulled my first prints and realised this was to be my primary medium. I think it was printmaking’s relationship to drawing that first excited me.’ 

Jill O’Sullivan lives in
Townsville, Queensland

Why do you make art?

I guess the answer to this is: why not make art? In one way or another have been making art since I was a child so it is just part of my character really.

What’s your relationship to printmaking?

My main practice these days is centred on printmaking – relief, intaglio and lithography – so I guess I have a pretty strong relationship with printmaking.

How did you get interested in printmaking?

As part of the Flying Arts (Queensland) regional arts program at the time Judy Watson and Anne Lord came out to Mount Isa in the early 1990s teaching linocuts and wood engraving. I pulled my first prints and realised this was to be my primary medium. I think it was printmaking’s relationship to drawing that first excited me.

Who is your favourite artist?

No one particular artist but I have quite a few printmakers whose work I really enjoy – Martin Lewis, Jessie Traill, Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Frank Brangwyn, Samuel Palmer, Paul Landacre to name but a few.

What is your favourite artwork?

Too hard to pick really. Nevertheless, I always go to see Jan Eyck’s Arnolfini double portrait and Holbein’s Ambassadors at the National Gallery when I’m in London.

Where do you go for inspiration?

Inspiration has come from many varied sources over the years. In more recent years my Master’s practical research was based on people from North West Queensland, while my PhD visual practice centred on the chorographic mapping of elements of place, again from locations in North West Queensland. Much of my latest work has been inspired by winter experiences of Wales during my recent residency at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre.

What are you working on now?

I’ve just finished a series of works relating to Aberystwyth in Wales that form part of a group exhibition Godre’r Glais at Umbrella Studio in Townsville (on until 1 November). I have a few deadlines in the pipeline for small group exhibitions with Press North. The next larger project will be a series of prints that focus on aspects of the dry tropics of North West Queensland. I’m also interested in doing a series on domestic artefacts fairly soon.