Luminous Unknown

National Exhibition Register

  • Installation shot from Lake MAC Yapang, Museum of Art and Culture/ Lake Macquarie 'Absolute Colour' curated by Jasmine Kean.
    Daniel O'Toole Installation shot from Lake MAC Yapang, Museum of Art and Culture/ Lake Macquarie 'Absolute Colour' curated by Jasmine Kean., 2024
    Sculptural painting and installation.
    Image Credit
    Photography by 'Docqment'

About the exhibition

In this new body work, O’Toole delves into the realm of colour and light frequencies beyond human perception, inspired by the extraordinary vision of creatures from the insect world. Intrigued by the notion that butterflies can perceive light frequencies beyond our potential, O’Toole embarks on a journey to divulge the unseen. A resonating palette of luminous oranges, vibrant pinks and fluorescent greens are hidden behind a semi transparent layer of acrylic. This layer, coupled with discreetly placed mirrors, acts as a light refracting veil, melting each colour softly into one another. O’Toole translates the intangible into visual form, incorporating a harmonious interplay of colours that exude both subtlety and unease. The juxtaposition of opposing hues with similar tonal values creates a sensory symphony, evoking a sense of discovery akin to witnessing the mesmerising iridescence found in nature. Accompanied by a 11 track album the exhibition builds an audio visual environment intended to gently alter your perception and allow the audience to sink into a feeling of timelessness. A video work is also available and has been mastered for both stereo and 7.1 surround sound for institutions with and immersive room. (This was commissioned by the KRUPA Art foundation/ Poland.) Note- This exhibition can be expanded on to include the video installation/ soundtrack and public programs that invite the string quartet to perform sections of the album. Or alternatively a smaller selection of the series can be shown depending on the available space.

Artists and Curator

Daniel O'Toole

Daniel O'Toole Musical Collaborators on the Album 'Luminous Unknown' String quartet / 1st violin - Yuhki Mayne, 2nd violin - Dora Maria, Viola - Neil Thompson, Cello - Eleanor Streatfield

Available Dates and
Exhibition Details

Available dates
Exhibition size
Over 100 sq or running metres
Originating state
Organised by
Lake MAC Yapang
$6,000 (exc. freight) - Contact to discuss
Web Site
Accompanying materials available
Installation Support Available, Public Program Opportunities, Public Workshops
Other materials
Artist statement- Daniel O’Toole Multimedia artist Naarm (Melbourne), Australia. Building on the Los Angeles 'Light and space' movement of the 1960’s, the work is positioned in the post-digital context of contemporary Australia. Working across the mediums of painting, video, sound, and installation, I blur the lines between disciplines – always looking for an outcome that unites the various aspects of my practice in a cohesive way. My work embraces imperfection and low-resolution modes of recording as an aesthetic decision. I make videos of natural phenomena to use as a reference for paintings. These time-based works are a conflation of analogue and digital processes. Kinetic distortion, the movement of shadows, the refraction of light – these nuanced micro-events that can be easily missed in everyday life form the focus of the time-based works. Inspired by personal experiences of synaesthesia, I seek to deliver a connected dialogue between sensory modes of communication; primarily between colour and sound. Various light-altering materials are used to affect visual perception and re-animate the static image. Questioning the ubiquity of the digital screen, the work emphasises 'seeing' as an active engagement rather than a passive receiving. In a culture immersed in a digital dialogue, the value of images is in quick decline. The time for consideration is being eroded by an insatiable appetite for dopamine. The refraction effect that is explored in my sculptural-paintings, is intended to draw attention to the time it takes, for light to enter and return from the space within the frame. Deliberately slowing down the viewing pace, it is an invitation to physically interact with distilled natural phenomena. Exhibition text / Absolute colour, Lake MAC Yapang. Daniel O’Toole Pure Colour – New Works Daniel O'Toole born in 1984 in Sydney, is a multimedia and sound artist working in Melbourne/Naarm. O’Toole’s work integrates experimental soundscapes into his exhibitions, where paintings are often accompanied by uniquely created soundtracks. In these new works he has used acrylic on poly-cotton to achieve a smooth surface which gives the illusion of spatial depth. Layers of atomised paint interact to form new colour hues that echo the refraction of light waves, back to the refraction paintings which incorporate a semi-transparent screen. The surface can be discovered as a textured noisy field of particles analogous to film grain, whilst at greater distances the colours blend in a seamless, almost digital way. New Utopia and Dusk Landing are the largest works O’Toole has created to date, exploring the immersive and perceptual power of working at scale. New Utopia is intended to combine more natural colour relationships with more challenging ones, feeling euphoric yet slightly unsettling, whilst Dusk Landing was a piece made with a photographic reference in mind. Flying back from MAC yapang, I was snapping phone pics of the sky out the airplane window as we came into land at dusk. The way the colours shifted towards blue and then eventually the deep black of the night sky is something I always enjoy. Somehow seeing this from a few thousand feet up, allows these gradients of colour to appear richer and closer, more immersive than from the ground; a feeling I search for in my own work. - Daniel O’Toole
Primary contact
Daniel O'Toole
Daniel O'Toole