John O'Carroll was born in Cornwall, and became a student at Cornwall College of Art. Among his influences at that time were Roy WALKER, Brian INGHAM and Tony O'MALLEY. Much of his adult life has been spent working and exhibiting in America, Mexico and the Netherlands. He spent 23 years as an archaeological illustrator in the Dakhla Oasis in Egypt's Western Desert. The experience fed his imagination, affecting his spatial and visual awareness. Here he began collecting pigments from the desert in order to make his own paints, and developed his own version of an ancient art technique which combines layers of natural pigments with layers of wax. 

In 2005 he returned to Cornwall but divides his time between the UK and Egypt, where he is a trustee on the Dakhleh Oasis Project. O'Carroll is currently resident artist at Circle Contemporary at Hawksfield on the A39 near Padstow and Wadebridge.

O'Carroll's work combines modern and natural materials, and makes reference to ancient lost worlds.



Mixed media, sculpture, installation


2015:  'Anthropocene', Circle Contemporary, Wadebridge (20 Sept - 28 Nov)

2015: 'Elemental', Circle Contemporary, Wadebridge (6 Dec 2015 - 15 Feb 2016)

2018: Circle Summer, Circle Contemporary, Wadebridge (30 June-22 Sept)

2018: Galerie Roger Katwijk, Amsterdam, Netherlands

2019: The Place - Alchemy of Nature, Circle Contemporary (20 July-20 Aug)