About the artwork

Everything Forever is a series of collages composed of photos taken by artist Lillian O’Neil from secondhand books. Collecting the books from book fairs, archives and op shops, O’Neil draws upon an extensive collection of pictures to investigate the contrast between obsolete, pre-digital photographs and the infinite proliferation of digital images today.

Favouring photographs that encapsulate a sense of passing time, natural versus developed landscapes, human drama and shifting erotic perspectives, O’Neil builds each element into a grander narrative: a place where microcosm and macrocosm exist in one visual to become a monument to a disappearing photographic texture.

Everything Forever was commissioned by Photo Australia and the Metro Tunnel Creative Program for PHOTO 2021.

About the artist

Melbourne-born, Torquay-based artist Lillian O’Neil works with analogue photographic material from pre-digital archives to create large-scale, highly-detailed collages that are image atlases – both encyclopaedic and kaleidoscopic.

O’Neil has exhibited at Artspace, Sydney and Youkobo Art Space, Tokyo. Her work was included in The Body Electric at The National Gallery of Australia, and the 2020 National Photography Prize. Her work has been acquired by Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; and the Sir Elton John Collection.

Photography by James Henry