Lillian O’Neil (b. 1985, Melbourne, l. Melbourne) works in large-scale analogue collage cut from pre-digital books and magazines. The ongoing search for and mass accumulation of material is an important component of her process. Her vast library of material forms a kind of atlas of human activities, interests and beliefs from which she cuts images.

O'Neil was awarded the 2021 Bowness Photography Prize at Monash Gallery of Art. The $30,000 acquisitive prize was awarded by judges Del Kathryn Barton (artist), Anouska Phizacklea (Director Monash Gallery of Art) and Karen Quinlan AM (Director National Portrait Gallery, Canberra). O’Neil’s analogue collage, Drawing to a close, was selected from over 730 entries and 52 shortlisted works.

O'Neil completed a Master of Fine Art at Sydney College of the Arts, The University of Sydney in 2012. In 2020, she commenced a Doctor of Philosophy at RMIT, Melbourne.

Solo exhibitions include Soft Demand, The Commercial, Sydney (2020); Dawn, Artspace, Sydney, Ideas Platform (2019), Youkobo Art Space, Tokyo (2019);  Tertium Quid, The Commercial, Sydney (2018); Escape Velocity, The Commercial, Sydney (2017); Pause before the fall, The Commercial, Sydney (2015); The Lonely Isle, The Commercial, Sydney (2014). In 2014, she presented a two-person exhibition, Isle of Somewhere, with Laura Delaney at West Space, Melbourne. In 2013 The Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne, commissioned O’Neil to create a billboard for the CCP/City of Yarra Billboard. Total Romance, was her first solo exhibition at The Commercial, Sydney (2013), Love Machine at MOP, Sydney (2012) and Cream at Firstdraft Gallery, Sydney (2010).

Group exhibitions include Unpopular, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney (2022) ; PHOTO 2021 International Festival of Photography: The Truth, Melbourne (2021);The Body Electric, curated by Shaun Lakin at the National Gallery of Australia (2020); the National Photography Prize, Murray Art Museum Albury (2020); the NSW Visual Arts Fellowship (Emerging), curated by Alexie Glass at Artspace, Sydney (2014); In the Cut – collage as idea (which included works by Ellen Gallagher, Richard Larter, Linder, Elizabeth Newman, David Maljkovic, Henning Bohl, Tom Burr, Nikolas Gambaroff, Matthew Griffin, Mathew Hale, Ry Haskings, Henrik Olesen, Lillian O’Neil, Lia Perjovschi, Amanda Ross-Ho, Kelley Walker) curated by Hannah Matthews, at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne; Pantone 705 C, The Mews Project Space, London; Living in the Ruins of the Twentieth Century, curated by Adam Jasper and Holly Williams, UTS Gallery, The University of Technology, Sydney (all 2013); THREE/THREE at The Commercial Gallery, Sydney (2012); House of Love at Seventh Gallery, Melbourne (2011); Super Market, curated by Kim Brockett, at Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces (2010); Evolution, as part of the Next Wave Festival, Melbourne (2010); Group Group Show, curated by DAMP, at Margaret Lawrence Gallery, The University of Melbourne (2008). As part of the group Safari Team, O’Neil exhibited in a collaborative solo exhibition, Molto Morte, that toured in Australia and Canada (international venues were Galerie VAV, Concordia University, Montréal and Lab Synthèse, Montréal) (2008).

O’Neil has been awarded numerous grants including those from Asialink, the Australia Council for the Arts, Arts Victoria, Melbourne City Council, the Besen Foundation and traveling awards from both Monash University and Sydney College of the Arts, The University of Sydney.

Her work has appeared in Architectural Digest, Art Collector, Art Monthly, Australian Vogue, Belle Magazine, Photofile and VAULT.

O’Neil’s work is in the collections of the Anne and Gordon Samstag Museum of Art, Adelaide; Artbank; the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; the BresicWhitney Collection, Sydney; the Sir Elton John Collection, UK; Monash Gallery of Art, Melbourne and the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.


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