(Photos: Andrianna Veatch)
By: Andrianna Veatch, Staff Reporter
Since January 25, the O’ Sullivan Art Gallery has hosted not one, but two artists: Rob Watt’s “Set for Life” embroidery display, and “Occupied Space” sculpture by Sean O’Meallie. For anyone who enjoys the artistry of Kahn & Selesnick (Truppe Fledermaus series, etcetera), O’Meallie’s art exudes the same atmosphere of the fantastic and imaginative, but with a touch far more of the whimsical and cheery, suggestive of the playful, uninhibited creativity of childhood.
This is perhaps particularly clear in the simply titled statue “Book”. At first odd and baffling, a collection of easily recognizable objects—among other things, a book, light-bulb, and most obviously, a red balloon—don the gentle sense of childhood memories; bedtime stories, little FLYER wagons, and glorious warm days in Central Park. While this particular piece is made of painted wood and steel, O’Meallie uses many media to express his whimsy, including fur (go see the black Tribble. You won’t regret it). Another painted woodwork of his is “Balloon Man Running”, who looks like just the sort of childhood toy or imaginary friend you would want to gather into your arms for a hug and a nuzzle. No matter what piece it is, O’Meallie’s art is extremely friendly, and a true pleasure to experience.
Impressive in its sheer depth and intensity of detail, Robert Watt’s embroidery at times suggests it was mimicking the honored age-old tradition of tapestry. “Ancient Egypt I” depicts an image of the Sphinx in the days of its construction (or perhaps its rediscovery) in a medium historical and monumental, something emphasized by its relatively small size. All Watt’s work is impressive like this and strikes a deep instinctive chord in his viewers, presenting great beauty in little ways.
This is definitely an exhibition to see, full of fun, mirth, and beauty in different shapes and sizes—all of them pieces reflecting the brightness, wonder, and good cheer of our yesterdays.