John O'Driscoll

Artist Bio

John paints in oils and draws on paper. He describes his art practice and his approach to art, 'I like to start with what I see, in front of me and in the images I see: portraits; landscapes and scenes are like a mirror, but also a sponge. Memory. After surviving six years of a country boarding school I escaped to Uni. Studying the history of fascism and the Spanish civil war I found Goyas work in the Library and was inspired by his starkly moving lithographs. I started painting and exhibiting soon after, and moved into the Gunnery to learn'.

I also play around with technology and crafts as the materials and tools come to hand, eg. working with salvaged wood and timber scraps to make furniture and frames for my paintings, and UV LED lamps made with the silvered necks of champagne and vodka bottles. Sometimes I create 3D displays of my work in galleries modelled on those I've shown in.'

You can follow John and his work in progress on his blog at

Artist Statement

Restricted to my studio during the second year of COVID, I took my easel with the largest canvas I could tie to it down the back of the yard. I did this most days for a while. The boys had set up an outdoor gym in the half-forgotten grove, caged, half- underground and built up around. Having started a view of the scene, I thought I should put someone in it. So, thanks to 'Damo', who was there exercising, fighting off demons, real or imaginary.

Around this scene, I've hung portraits of politicians and officials from Health briefings, and some images of Sydney along with trans activist Nadine Stransen.