Too Many to Count   :    Kevin O’neill,  2020

This box is a home for unique artworks made by Kevin O’neill.

The collection of artworks, or ‘working sheets’ in this box,  have developed over Too Many to Count
photographs, worked on throughout Kevin’s extensive career. Each spray, spot, brush stroke, blotting
and fold, brings reference to the enormous variety of photographs that Kevin’s brush has touched.
From hand colouring black and white prints, to toning, masking, restoring, spotting, ‘Improving’ or
accentuating (or de-accentuating) details, this craft is a fascinating practice that reminds us of how
vision is entangled with touch.

Starting out as a Junior Retoucher in 1971, Kevin O’neill became an ‘Improver’ til 1975, and, since then,
continues to work as a Retoucher today. With a career spanning 50 years, Kevin’s artform remains an
integral part of analogue photographic process and preservation.  Post-production, since the early 19th
century, has always come hand in hand with the visualisation of photography, and continues to do so
today. In 2021, manipulating photographs is typically associated with the digital hand, however, ideas of
perfection amongst a way of ‘seeing’ has always been present both within and beyond the development
of the photograph.

Other materials involved in the making of this box,  include book cloth, card, PVA, and digital C-type
prints of both a retouching brief and a digitally retouched, and ‘improved’ version.

  Bringing Figures, 2020

Bringing figures, 2020
2 bus routes, upstairs and 6th seat back, London 
C-type prints, card, book cloth, PVA, mangets, digital c-type print for the inlay


A bit can be atomic, it is the smallest unit of data in a computer. It can be a unit
of information or it can be a description of a piece, like a bit of chocolate or a bit
of a walk... but this is then relating to time, like saying “the film went on for a bit
too long”. I could bite my lip but then if it was in the past I would say “I bit my lip”.
A group of 8 bits come together to make 1 byte, and a group of 36 photographs can
come together to make 1 exposed roll of 35mm film.

This is a book of bits.

With unwanted film off-cuts being caught between being packaged or binned at the
lab, this photo album resurges potential images, left over material that has been
rescued bit by bit.


Bits, 2019
c-type hand prints, card, book cloth, acid free tape, acrylic paint


Salvaged from discarded rolls of film at a lab, the images in this book
have been cropped and detached from their original scenes... Selected
hands are touching - connecting actions of the people in the scenes to our
own daily actions, from bookmaker to book beholder, to our devices and
vices, and to the anonymous photographer who has offered each potential
of image.

As a very intimate part of our body, an extension of our insides, used to
hurt or to heal, our tool, speak language or to signal - our communication
is held within our touch.

A special thank you to Artful Dodgers Imaging, Rabia Kader, Wojciech Kawczyk
and Carl Randall for making these boxes possible.

 Handbook, 2019
 c-type hand prints, card, book cloth, acid free tape, acrylic paint


                             The Chosen Ones, 2019



                                    The Chosen Ones, 2019
                                    34 hand c-type prints sewn with card and thread , collage map is a double sided c-type digital print 
                                    box made from book cloth, board, PVA and ink   

                                   All photographs have been tracked by memory of location using Google maps

Undercover, 2018

Undercover, 2018
c-type and b/w unique photographic prints, card, book cloth, PVA, thread, personal diary

Please find out more about the Undercover project here: