Kim O'Neil

Central Saint Martins : BA Fine Art

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Artist Statement:
Receipts are the by-product of consumption, part of the aftermath of consumerism and a waste product of today’s society. My work gives this ephemeral object a new lease of life and a new value. I have always been very aware of day-to-day data, like the till receipt, which are so commonplace they go unnoticed. People become immune to the atheistic and information which everyday objects impart. I want to establish an awareness of receipts as objects through my practice.
The purpose of my work is not to replicate receipts exactly but through a process of edits the receipt becomes an ambiguous composition. My paintings are fragments of receipts so that the viewer is left with only pieces of the original information. Only the essential visual elements of the receipt are retained and a lot of the original information is less prominent, resulting in an ambiguous composition.
The decision I made was to use large canvases, six foot by four foot, not only to achieve an impact through the scale, but also to completely alter the viewer’s perception of a receipt due to the scale. Viewers are confronted by an image that is the same size as themselves that ironically is a fragment of a receipt that started off as a tiny two cm image.
Receipts are a waste product of today’s society and are a reminder that we desire a product and they consume it through purchasing it. The viewer is forced to except their consumer identity when confronted by these large receipt images.
Receipts become a biographical as they track and trace your history. The receipt holds information of the time, date, and whereabouts of your purchases, what you have purchased, where and what you have eaten, how you have made the purchase, where you shop, and where you go out. This is illustrated in the case of the Camden Ripper. When the police where trying to identify him, they tracked him through the use of a Sainbury’s receipt found in his rubbish bin. Police used his Nectar card details on the Sainsbury’s receipt to find the date and time of his purchase in a named store and then looked at CCTV footage to establish his identity. The purpose of my work is to draw people’s attention to the amount of information that is held in a receipt, which is often over looked in everyday life.


Kim O'Neil

Central Saint Martins : BA Fine Art

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