David NoonanCreator of Illusory Found Memories
Noonan's works are much like the famous "young girl/old woman" illusion popularized by W.E. Hill.
Australian-born, London-based David Noonan is not your run-of-the-mill visual artist; he rarely speaks of the inspiration for his monochromatic, silk-screened collages, two-dimensional sculptures and 8mm films created from images found in archival photographs. (Think theatrical performances, elaborate masks, and rituals bordering on occult.) Noonan's works are much like the famous "young girl/old woman" optical illusion popularized by W.E. Hill: the more you examine them, the more your perception shifts to take in all the different angles and how they can be interpreted. In Owl (2009), for instance, the merging of a panda-eyed young girl with a puffy-faced barn owl leads the eye from one end of the canvas and back, until it's unclear where the owl ends and the girl begins. Over the years, Noonan has evolved from creating eerie, disquieting yet possibly plausible pieces, to fictionalized, ghostly "found memories" and fragments where long-tongued gentlemen have flowers for eyes (Untitled, 2006) and dodo birds frolic with harlequins (Altermodern exhibit, 2009). It's a pastiche of the grotesque, disjointed images that call to mind the flickering of an old film just before the reel spools out on the projector, leaving the audience to second-guess what it was they just saw.