“When I was a child, my sister and I would spend days making paper cardboard houses, sometimes whole villages – using toothpaste lids to make light bulbs, scraps of fabric for curtains, making interior worlds.
That feeling never left me and still today I work with the idea of making something from nothing. It is fascinating, entirely insular and personal, but speaks of today and time, and is a female voice. The first drawings and scribbles are stiff, then after I am relaxed enough, they begin to be playful. I work without judging or editing and it seems to pour out. I find the process of setting up, layering colour down, cutting up and arranging shapes totally absorbing.
The time I spend working is a complete other world, a time to reflect and map out dreams, nightmares, my fears, and obsessions. The images sometimes repeat themselves, playing out different roles and interpreting the same meaning again and again – images from the stories I collect, my own and other people’s lives, from film, paintings, poems, and myths.
Cornelia O’Donovan was born in 1981 and trained at the Royal College of Art in London. Her paintings which are inspired by folklore and poetry have been exhibited widely and have also been used for exclusive collections of ceramics, fabrics and clothing for Anthropologie which have been on display throughout their stores in the UK and USA. Cornelia’s paintings are in private collections around the world, she lives and works in London.