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Meet the artist: Damien Veal

Oct 16, 2018  ·  3 min read

Damien is a Canberra-based artist who works across a variety of mediums such as drawing, painting and sculpture. Having graduated from the Australian National University School of Art with first class honours in 1998, Damien has since exhibited his work in many exhibitions, both locally and interstate. Damien places a conscious emphasis on the aesthetic qualities of his pieces, using a realistic style to convey concepts associated with popular culture and modern life.

‘The New World’ presents a series of large-scale compositions that feature imagery drawn from a range of sources, in ink, on a variety of surfaces. The drawings have then been woven together digitally to create impossible environments. Presenting familiar imagery in an unfamiliar way, you can expect to be challenged by the underlying narrative of this collection. Opposing ideas such as attraction/ repulsion, recognisability/ strangeness, deep thought/ shallow thinking, old/new and high art/ low art are all motivators for Damien, and we can’t wait to give you a taste of what he has in store.

“These pieces represent the concept of time in different ways: references to the passage of time are evident and there is also a prevalent sense of our present time and place in relation to those that have gone before. A classic selfie-pose, coupled with a raging dinosaur and 1950s-inspired UFO abduction, for example, provide multiple frames of reference, however, their potency is compromised as they fight for attention and significance within a single composition. In this case, all three components exist on the same plane of importance, despite occupying vastly different spaces in the continuum of time.

The often-repetitive nature of the work is an important component as this mimics the modern obsession with visual stimulation and the oversaturation of often inconsequential and forgettable visual information.

I like the idea that these pieces could be interpreted in a variety of ways and on many levels depending on the viewer’s own preconceptions. This encourages them to become a part of the work as they navigate the elements I have put forward for themselves. I hope each viewer will identify and respond to different components in the work; that it has sentimental connotations, raises a smile, challenges perceptions or even forces an emotional response, depending on the frame of reference.

In the new world anything is possible.”


Damien’s work will be on display from Thursday 1st November to Friday 30th November in the foyer of QT Canberra.

Join us at the Exhibition Opening Night

Friday 9th October, 6pm – 8pm
Drinks and canapes served from 6-6:30pm
QT Canberra FoyerRead more

words by stephanie dempster.

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