MEL O'CALLAGHAN,  PARADE, 2014, PERFORMANCE AND INSTALLATION, STEEL, ROPE, WOOD, 5 X 20 X 4.5M INSTALLATION 19TH BIENNALE OF SYDNEY AUSTRALIA.

MEL O'CALLAGHAN

Mel O'Callaghan is an artist who employs symbolic cyclical repetition to examine ideas of myth and ritual as an articulation of the human condition. A series of functional, inert sculptural elements – ladders, weights and pulleys – appear upon a stage, made lively on occasions throughout the day by a group of performers. The intentions of the performers are ambiguous; they engage with one another and the available objects as though acting out an absurd game, the purpose and rules of which are not made clear

 MEL O'CALLAGHAN Ensemble, Two-channel HD video, colour, sound 32:9, 7 minutes 15 seconds, 2013, Install Centre Pompidou, Paris, France 

MEL O'CALLAGHAN Ensemble, Two-channel HD video, colour, sound 32:9, 7 minutes 15 seconds, 2013, Install Centre Pompidou, Paris, France 

Working in a variety of mediums including video and photographic and sculptural installations, O’Callaghan’s art is, in the words of Alexi Glass (Monument, issue 66, 2005): ‘characterised by its attention to detail and ruthlessness in extracting the superfluous to articulate the covert mechanics and poetics of the world …

 MEL O'CALLAGHAN, En masse (Blue and Black, Acrylic paint on Glass, 140cm x 160cm, 2015 

MEL O'CALLAGHAN, En masse (Blue and Black, Acrylic paint on Glass, 140cm x 160cm, 2015 

it is as if she has awoken from 100 years of slumber and, with the precision of an architectural draughtsman, gone about the task of reassembling sites from memory. The outcome is an intuitive fusion of irregularly collegial isms: minimalism, modernism and romanticism.

 MEL O'CALLAGHAN, Dangerous looking-back, White clay mask, brass hanging system 15cm x 22cm x 10cm, 2015 

MEL O'CALLAGHAN, Dangerous looking-back, White clay mask, brass hanging system 15cm x 22cm x 10cm, 2015 

O’Callaghan was artist in residence at the Foundation and Centre for Contemporary Art, Prague, 2000 and the Art Gallery of New South Wales Studio, The Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, 2004.

She has been included in many curated group exhibitions, including, in 2006, the National Sculpture Prize and Exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia.

'It's a way of looking at society's tendency towards ritual - ritual is about feeling a sense of security in society. I think in watching these endless actions that people kind of fall into this meditative state and perhaps consider their own human condition.''

Mel O'Callaghan

 MEL O'CALLAGHAN, Move, 16mm lm, colour, sound 16:9 7 minutes 13 seconds, 2010 

MEL O'CALLAGHAN, Move, 16mm lm, colour, sound 16:9 7 minutes 13 seconds, 2010