Holly O’Meehan’s experimental practice sees her combine clay, ceramic, fibre and organic found objects, pushing the materials’ limits through dextrous manipulation by hand and kiln firing. The resulting abstract sculptures have a whimsical, creature-like presence; their playful and defensive structures seem to repel and beguile in equal measure. During her residency at The Farm, O’Meehan began exploring ephemeral clay works set in the natural environment, where she then documented these explorations via moving image.
Through the appropriation of natural forms, O'Meehan attempts to highlight the beauty of the hidden and unassuming, exploring the microscopic worlds of the natural vegetation found within the unique landscape of Western Australia’s Noongar Boodjar/South West region. Influenced by the slow growth of the land and vegetation, O’Meehan purposely makes with slow, repetitive movements in a way that honours the time it takes the environment to not only recover, but thrive.
The wildlife; native, agricultural and introduced. The peace and quiet. It’s such a tranquil space, perfect for thinking, making, reflecting. I instantly felt at home. The abundance of wonderful people I got to meet. The ability to spend time in a similar agricultural setting to where I grew up, but somehow less harsh and on a smaller, more relatable scale. [I learnt] to trust my artistic choices and use of language. There’s a difference between always learning and always feeling like you’re trying to catch up to others. [I also learnt] that every idea will be relevant for someone.
Holly O’Meehan has been a practising Walyalup/Fremantle artist since graduating from Curtin University in 2014 with a double Bachelor in Fine Arts and Art & Design. She has since participated in a number of group exhibitions and solo exhibitions, including Elusive Tactility at Paper Mountain in 2018, and Defence/Defiance at Goolugatup Heathcote in 2021. Her keen sensibility for the properties of clay were further refined through a major 2017 residency with Art Ichol in India, several local residencies, and a TAFE course.