Charles O'Neil

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Artist Statement

The human figure and the human condition is the biggest influence on my work. I take great pleasure in the process of taking steel and copper wire to a place where I can experience the gradual transformation into a life form. In this sculpture the gender of the figure is purposely non-specific. I hope each viewer will decide in their own mind if the figure represents a male or female being.

The tension in the stretch of the figure creates a mood, and contrast to the static characteristics of the metal materials used in the construction.

The addition of coloured seed beads is designed to warm up the feel of the material, and add visual interest to the sculpture.


Work Process


Starting with an idea to create a sculpture to set a mood I then review resource materials, whether that be past life drawings, photographs, or strictly imagination. Then the design is simplified and adapted the limitations of the materials I have chosen to work with.  Experiencing the change in the under structure or armature as the sculpture gradually comes to life can be exciting.  Generally a slow process I have learned to be patient and wait for the final result 


Some people are drawn to an art career early in life; others must wait years for their muse to find them. Such is the case for Charles O’Neil.


Following a lengthy and successful career in the local business community, Charles made the transition into a full-time artist.  Always eager to expand his artistic repertoire he completed his Visual and Creative Arts Diploma, along with a Certificate in Artist Blacksmithing at Sir Sanford Fleming College.


The muse found a willing learner who excelled in a variety of artistic genres.  Starting with classical life drawing and realist painting Charles moved into sculpting with wire in the mid 90s. With a twist of his hand and imaginative designs his wire sculptures have brought him significant renown and captivated his audience.  His creations have been displayed around the world, including  Pearson International Airport Toronto, The Design Firm of Southfield Michigan, the 
Stuart Wietzman Collection of New York, the Haliburton Sculpture Forest, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Canadian House and Home Magazine, and many private collections.


Charles is one of the founding members of the Haliburton County Studio Tour, and a faculty member of the Haliburton School of the Arts, where his easy-going personality quickly builds a rapport between him with his students. 


Earning  the 2008 Artist of Distinction Award from the Haliburton Highlands Arts Council, Charles has been described as “an outstanding, multi-faceted artist  and through his profile, brought distinction and recognition, to the artistic community in Haliburton County.


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Spring Bay,

Manitoulin Island,


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