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On Photography, Intimacy, and Indexing Time

29 June 2024
2.00pm – 3.00pm AEST
UNSW Galleries Cnr of Oxford St and Greens Rd, Paddington NSW 2021
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Learn more about the photographic practices of Australian artists Lillian O’Neil and Paul Knight in conversation with Dr Shaune Lakin, Senior Curator of Photography, National Gallery of Australia.  

Together they will discuss photography’s relationship to time, including the capacity to disrupt linear measures by entangling the present with the past and near future. The conversation will offer insight into O’Neil and Knight’s practices which explore themes around the human condition and understandings of self. The artists will reflect on their shared interests in documenting private lives and tracing moments of intimacy within the domestic sphere. 

Lillian O’Neil is an Australian artist based in Wadawarrung/Torquay who makes collages describing the human condition, using found imagery from pre‐digital books and magazines. Her works short-circuit visual information, with bodies taking on peculiar hybrid characteristics, surfaces merging with print textures, and the junctures between body, architecture, day, night, earth, and sky all disintegrating. The reduction of colour and the muted tones in the collages make tangible lapses of time as they weave together fragments of the past to form new scenarios and narratives. 

Paul Knight is an Australian artist based in Berlin whose practice interested in how intimacy is constructed and communicated through the photographic image. With remarkable candour, he documents private moments that are at once banal and emotionally charged. Knight is also concerned with the material limits (or potentials) of the medium – it’s inherent flatness, framing and surface qualities. These considerations have translated across to his textile practice in which he explores form and volume. The artist hand-weaves cloth in a labour-intensive process, producing works that borrow from the everyday. 

Shaune Lakin is a writer and curator with a long engagement with photography. He is Senior Curator, Photography at the National Gallery of Australia (NGA), Kamberri/Canberra. He collaborates regularly, often with fellow NGA Curator Anne O’Hehir. His curatorial practice tends to focus on histories of feminist photography and photography’s interactions with other media. Recent projects include exhibitions and publications on the work of Olive Cotton and Peter Maloney. 

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Presented in conjunction with ‘Paul Knight: L’ombre de ton ombre’, and ‘Lillian O’Neil: The light that spills across the ground between shadows’ at UNSW Galleries, 28 June – 8 September 2024. 

Image: Lillian O'Neil, Through Glass (detail), 2023. Courtesy of the artist and The Commercial, Sydney 

Speakers
Portrait of Paul Knight

Paul Knight

Artist

Paul Knight is an Australian artist based in Berlin whose practice interested in how intimacy is constructed and communicated through the photographic image. With remarkable candour, he documents private moments that are at once banal and emotionally charged. Knight is also concerned with the material limits (or potentials) of the medium – it’s inherent flatness, framing and surface qualities. These considerations have translated across to his textile practice in which he explores form and volume. The artist hand-weaves cloth in a labour-intensive process, producing works that borrow from the everyday. 

Portrait of Lillian O'Neil

Lillian O'Neil

Artist

Lillian O’Neil is an Australian artist based in Wadawarrung/Torquay who makes collages describing the human condition, using found imagery from pre‐digital books and magazines. Her works short-circuit visual information, with bodies taking on peculiar hybrid characteristics, surfaces merging with print textures, and the junctures between body, architecture, day, night, earth, and sky all disintegrating. The reduction of colour and the muted tones in the collages make tangible lapses of time as they weave together fragments of the past to form new scenarios and narratives. 

Portrait of Shaune Lakin 

Shaune Lakin 

Writer and Curator

Shaune Lakin is a writer and curator with a long engagement with photography. He is Senior Curator, Photography at the National Gallery of Australia (NGA), Kamberri/Canberra. He collaborates regularly, often with fellow NGA Curator Anne O’Hehir. His curatorial practice tends to focus on histories of feminist photography and photography’s interactions with other media. Recent projects include exhibitions and publications on the work of Olive Cotton and Peter Maloney.