Original Art Gallery

The Archaeologist and The Wave


Ink, acrylic, oil pastel + graphite on Arches paper

130cm H x 108cm W  |  Framed size. 148cm H x 127cm W
One-of-a-kind original
Framed in raw Tasmanian oak

Katrina O’Brien’s striking works of ink, acrylic and graphite sway between painting and drawing. Indeed, Katrina sees her artwork as a kind of dance, and a way of delving into her own and others’ inner psyche.

Says Katrina: ” This work carries parts of a story that came to me in the last few months while listening to various music. Sometimes when I work, it’s like I go to a place far away and I get lost there for a bit. Lost in a good way – but sometimes I lose sense of time and space. The story walks with me wherever I go and becomes so entwined in my work that it also becomes my life. These are the places that I walk, that I drift off to when I sleep or when I wake.

“I have an overactive imagination. Throughout my life I’ve maintained a child-like curiosity of things. Not childish, but I am filled with wonder at a great many things – perhaps this is why my work seems so free. The moment we lose wonder for something, it becomes an ordinary object or just another thing passing by – and we end up drowning in the mundane mediocrity of everyday life. Perhaps working with children helps me to see from a child’s perspective more often. But the truth is, my mind has always been curious. I’m not ashamed of the fact that I can be amazed by seemingly small things… and often.

“I piece those small things together and they become a spectacular solar system of meaning. Then I join the various solar systems together and I see universes of compelling beauty and complexity. I see so many things. It can be quite overwhelming to have a mind that is constantly connecting things. Sometimes picking a path through all the thoughts and landscapes can be hard.

“My mind often jumps ahead of me, even as I’m working on something. I see in front of it, I see what’s behind it and I see it in the here and now. You can pluck works and words from my history and connect them with my most recent pieces. It’s a continuous string of stars plucked from the universe, each holding a different space but each connected like a constellation in the sky.

“This has always been my creative process. Over the years I’ve become better at choosing a path through a work and articulating where it comes from.”


An excerpt from the story written about this work:

On an earthy, sandy beach, stood an Archaeologist. Tall, lean of frame, with a pensive demeanour and a voice that gently echoed in the hearts of all who heard it.  Perhaps he was in a desert, perhaps it used to be a river – he wasn’t sure. He dug away in search of a treasure that eluded his concerned heart. This was a different treasure to what he would normally uncover – and a different search to his youth – but one that called to him with increasing intent.

The Archaeologist laboured away at the ground, sweat and blood falling off his head and hands. He brushed away at the earth and the sand. He could see a glimpse of something beautiful, so he laboured deep into the night and long into the morning.

From a place he didn’t yet know… but had already been… from a place across the ends of the earth… came a wave. It appeared lost in the desert field, but, as the wave washed over where the Archaeologist toiled he was not afraid. The wave was gentle as it washed over the piece of earth.

The rest of the sand washed away, and before his eyes was the most amazing sight… yet it registered as sound. The artefact had finally been unearthed. It felt right to touch and see, yet it was formless and couldn’t be held in his hands. It had the effortless beauty of the heavens emanating out of it.

The wave, now beside the man, turned into a woman.

She handed him a fruit.

Signed on front.

SKU: KO21 Category:
Framing + Shipping Information

This work is framed in raw oak with perspex.


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