“I really like the Minties painting, they’re the cartoons from when I was a kid, that were on the Minties packaging that I always found the most fun.”

That’s Clare O’Toole talking about one of her favourite pieces of work.

“Yeah so, essentially it was what was around, that’s one of the things that I really like about what I have chosen to do, like you can find inspiration in the day-to-day, and I like that it’s a representation of that in a very extreme sort of way,” O’Toole said.

O’Toole is a self-taught artist and her ‘Best Before‘ exhibition is in the spotlight at the Wollongong Art Gallery this month.

Wollongong Art Gallery Program Director John Monteleone said O’Toole’s exhibition was a highlight.

“An opportunity to show an exhibition by an artist like Clare is really a good one for us, because it’s part of what we do but also for the community because young and emerging artists often bring different perspectives that haven’t been in the established art world that long, so we were very happy to support her and her exhibition,” he said.


Inspired by artists like Warhol and Hockney, Ms O’Toole’s work deals with familiar and everyday pantry staples and invites viewers to reflect on modern consumption.

For O’Toole, it’s all about drawing our attention to how the products are designed for maximum appeal.

“I mean we have to consume, um but it’s one of those things that we don’t really pay attention to either. so, I think having something incredibly mundane and everyday be represented as a piece of artwork gives it a bit more appreciation,” O’Toole said.

‘Best Before’ runs until May 26.