The Yard Studios Winchester
Junko O'Neill
Junko O’Neill

My work is inspired by the Japanese spacial and temporal concept of Ma, which considers negative space as having a form of existence, with space perceived alongside time. It is neither time alone nor space alone. I express this concept both in figurative and abstract work.

With my figurative paintings, I often place a figure in the foreground, viewed from the behind. To give the subtle suggestion of passing of time, I paint the air in a way that emphasises the space the figure occupies. The inspiration of my figurative work is often drawn from literacy pieces, especially Japanese novels such as those of Haruki Murakami and Yoko Ogawa.
My abstract work conveys the fundamental concept of Ma by stripping away any excess elements. I experiment with ways to depict space where time flows at a slower pace, detached from the rest not by a physical structure but by one’s own perception. I add translucency and depth to the two dimensional surface that I create. Similar to gem stones which encase time within them, I trap space and time, creating a tension that holds an underlying sense of calm.

Either through my figurative or abstract pieces of work, what I create on the surface is space with a sense of time passing. I want my work to provide a breathing space for the viewers and let them sense the transient nature space possesses.

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