Carol Anne McChrystal’s materially-driven sculpture practice uses chemical processes and labor-intensive hand-making to explore the legacy of colonialism and trade, as well as the ways in which the climate catastrophe has compounded these histories of inequity. Inhabiting the tension between Earth’s immense history and the absurdly mundane everyday experience of plastic, her practice consolidates the painstakingly hand-made with mass-produced consumables in order to pry open a speculative space in which to resist the means-ends rationale of late capitalism.

Her recent sculptures concentrate on the ancestral handicrafts of her two island homelands of Ireland and the Philippines. Influenced by time spent in familial homelands witnessing the role that globalized industry plays in the dissolution of cultural practices, these works take the form of plaited floor mats traditionally made from local plant fibers. Informed by her own family migration story, she hand-weaves these objects from non-traditional materials like blue tarpaulins, single-use beverage bottles, discarded plastic wrappers and other products of oil extraction that she collects from specific landscapes. Using material and method hand in hand, these works are a meditation on how extractive industry and climate catastrophe are irrevocably entwined with local experiences of home and shelter.

Carol Anne McChrystal’s sculptures have been exhibited in Los Angeles at Mata Gallery, Avenue 50 Studios, and Adjunct Positions, and internationally at Galleria Duemila (Manila) and Horse & Pony (Berlin). She has participated in several residency programs, including Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (US), Sitka Center for Art & Ecology (US), Emerging Islands (PH) and Burren College of Art (IE) and her arts writing has been published on platforms like Art Practical. In addition to receiving grants from the Puffin Foundation and Arts Council Ireland, in 2021 she was a recipient of the Mozaik Foundation Ecosystem X, an award which recognizes artists using contemporary art as a medium for social change. Carol Anne received her MFA from California College of the Arts, and she is currently based between Ireland, the Philippines and unceded Tongva land, also known as Los Angeles.

As part of the collaborative duo Nightmare City, she created immersive environments that  were exhibited at Alter Space in San Francisco, The Luminary in St. Louis, and Horse & Pony in Berlin among others, and showed video works at Essex Flowers in New York, MASS Gallery in Austin, and ACRETV in Chicago. Their work has been written about in publications such as ArtForum and Modern Painters.


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Solo Exhibitions

2021 Entropical Latitudes, Mata Art Gallery, Los Angeles, California

2016 The Photic Wave: Cosmic Rivulet, The Luminary, St. Louis, Missouri*

2015 The Photic Wave: California Consciousness, Alter Space, San Francisco, California*

2014 California Nightmare, State of the Art, Berlin, Germany*

2013 NIGHTMARE CITY PRESENTS://RICH EVIDENCE <->THE PHOTIC WAVE, Horse and Pony Fine Arts, Berlin, Germany*

2010 The Pixie Troll Witch Hour: Into the 3 A.M. Void with Carol Anne & Keturah, Here, San Francisco*

Group Exhibitions 

2023 A World of Islands, Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston upon Thames, London, UK

2022 HITHERTO VI: Notes on Impermanence, Project Space Pilipinas, Lucban, Philippines

2022 Rinconcito Tropical, El Centro del Conocimiento Migrante, Portland

2022 The Riddle of Materials, Galleria Duemila, Manila, Philippines

2022 bad budz, Adjunct Positions, Los Angeles, California

2022 a line and a long gaze, Phase Gallery, Los Angeles, California

2022 Kapwa: Communal Spirit, Avenue 50 Gallery, Los Angeles, California

2022 Polar Opposites, D21, Leipzig, Germany (Three-Person Collaborative Exhibition)

2022 Ecosystem X, Mozaik Philanthropy, Los Angeles, California

2021 Stampede, Horse & Pony, Berlin, Germany

2020 Switch, Kaiser Gallery, Cleveland, Ohio

2020 home, Acogedor Space, Los Angeles, California

2020 Superdomestic, AsukalSpace, Online Exhibition

2019 Araw ng mga Patay, Avenue 50 Gallery, Los Angeles, California

2015 Glitch Cult, Essex Flowers, New York, New York*

2015 Friendship & Freedom, MASS Gallery, Austin, Texas*

2014 These Streams, ACRE TV, Chicago, Illiinois*

2013 Science Fictions, Warschau, Berlin, Germany

2013 Translocura: Art at the Brink of Madness, Headlands Center for the Arts, Marin, California*

2012 Not Free Not Dead: The Psychedelic End, ATA, San Francisco, California*

2012 Interpanel Relationships: A Spatial Discussion, S.H.E.D. Projects, Oakland, California*

2011 Reformation, Somerset County Jail, Skowhegan, Maine*

2011 Nightmare City Copy Lake The Horde, screening, Bei-Roy, Berlin, Germany*

2010 All that is Solid Melts Into Air: Nightmare City with Copy Lake, Erin Elder and Sam Green, Queen’s Nails Projects, San Francisco, California*

2010 ATA Film & Video Festival, ATA, San Francisco, California*

2010 VOX VI, Vox Populi, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania*

2010 T-10, 21Grand, Oakland, California*

2010 A Light at the End of the Tunnel, Scope Basel Cinema, Basel, Switzerland*

2009 Mash Up Show, NOMA Gallery, San Francisco, California*

2008 30 Under 30, Varnish, San Francisco, California

2008 D.U.I., Maniac, Oakland, California*

2008 Disembody (in collaboration with 23E Studios), Fringe Exhibitions, Los Angeles, California*

2006 Friends of the Arts, 222 Club, San Francisco, California

2006 Bad Art for Bad People, CCA MFA Exhibition, San Francisco, California


2022 Buchet-Déak, Elisabeth: “Hope and Beauty on the Edge of Collapse: The Artist as Care-Giver and Composter in Times of Ecological Uncertainty,” Mozaik E-Zine

2022 Interview, “Antipodal World Making: Following the Blue Plastic Thread” Human Nature Magazine, D21 Kunstraum

2022 Exhibition Catalog, “Future Art Awards: Ecosystem X,” Mozaik Philanthropy

2021 Suico-Soriano, Irene: "Target 2°C,” Exhibition Catalog, Mata Art Gallery

2015 Tedford, Matthew Harrison: “The Photic Wave is a Cult You’ll Want to Join,” SF Weekly*

2015 Puleo, Risa: “Friendship & Freedom,” Modern Painters*

2015 Anani, Katie: “Critics’ Pick: Friendship and Freedom,” Artforum*

2010 Gannon, Victoria: “Going to California: Nightmare City,” Art:21*

2009 Wolfe, Megan: “Café Royale, Silverman & NOMA,” Fecal Face*

2009 Ritchie, Andy: “A Breathalyzer of Fresh Air,” ArtSlant*


2023 Artist Talk, “alterlife: material entanglement + ongoing becoming,” Emerging Islands, San Juan, La Union, Philippines

2023 Resource Speaker, “Kaalam sa Hinabing Banig: Ecology, Traditions, Transformations, and Diaspora,” Visayas State University, Baybay, Leyte, Philippines 

2022 Resident Artist Talk, Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, Otis, Oregon

2022 Guest Lecturer - Advanced Sculpture: Trace/Time/Terrain, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Illinois

2022 Artist Talk, D21 Kunstraum, Leipzig, Germany

2021 Guest Lecturer - History of Digital Media, CCA, San Francisco, California

2021 Artist Talk, Mata Art Gallery, Los Angeles, California


2023 forthcoming: Cill Rialaig, Ballinskelligs, Co. Kerry, Ireland

2023 forthcoming: The Burren College of Art, County Clare, Ireland

2023 Emerging Islands, San Juan, La Union, Philippines

2022 Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, Otis, Oregon

2022 Cowhouse Studios, Ballybawn, Co. Wexford, Ireland

2021 The Burren College of Art, Ballyvaughan, County Clare, Ireland

2016 The Luminary, St. Louis, Missouri*

2015 Jail Cell AIR at Alter Space, San Francisco, California*

2012 Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik, Berlin, Germany*

2012 Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, Vermont*

2011 Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, Skowhegan, Maine*

2010 ACRE, Steuben, Wisconsin*

Awards & Honors

2023 Semi-Finalist & Alternate, Fulbright Open Research Fellowship, Philippines

2022 Grant, Agility Award, Arts Council Ireland

2022 Grant, Visual Arts Grant, The Puffin Foundation

2021 Grant, Future Art Award: Ecosystem X, Mozaik Philanthropy

2005 Graduate Fellowship, Sculpture Department, California College of the Arts

2004 Graduate Fellowship, Sculpture Department, California College of the Arts

2004 Outstanding Senior Award, Sculpture Dept, UIUC School of Art + Design

2003 Merit Scholarship, Sculpture Department, UIUC School of Art + Design

2002 Merit Scholarship, Sculpture Department, UIUC School of Art + Design

Published Writing

2023 “something meant for you when you welcome me back: translocal material entanglement across a global arkipelago,” A World of Islands: On Palms, Storms & Coconuts, Stanley Picker Gallery

2022 “Gimme Shelter: Changing Contexts of Banig Weaving in a Changing Climate,” Rare Earth, D21 Kunstraum

2021 "Entropical Latitudes," Exhibition Catalog, Mata Art Gallery

2019 “Entropical Latitudes,” Poetry Collection, Hexahedra Press

2015 “Faunic Witches Floral Bitches,” Nightmare City Publications*

2012 “Fuzzy Logic,” Nightmare City Publications in collaboration with Sarrita Hunn*

2011 “Sssux to be Usss,” Nightmare City Publications*

2011 “The Slacker, the Protestor, Cosmic Gestation, and Me,” Art Practical

2011 “The Immortal,” Art Practical

2011 “Self Expression Night: Complicity, Resistance, & the Touchy-Feely in Bay Area Performance Art,” Art Practical

2010 “From Portland With Love,” Art Practical

2010 “Afterglow in Divided Space,” Art Practical

2010 “Alexander Calder and Contemporary Art: Form, Balance, Joy,” Art Practical*

2010 “To Valie Export with Love and Kisses,” Color + Color: Black + White*

2010 “Bell, Book and Candle,” Bell, Book, and Candle

2010 “The Secret Welcome of Space and it’s Prehistoric Future,” Art Practical

2010 “in a world where you are possible,” Art Practical*

2009 “Justin Beal, Lena Daly, Kate Owens,” Art Practical

2009 “Big Time: Nightmare City Thinks You Suck,” Nightmare City Publications*

2009  “Erin Allen and James Bradley: New World Boredom,” Shotgun Review

Other Experience

2022 Co-Curator and Moderator, 2 x 2 Talks, D21 Kunstraum, Leipzig, Germany

2013 Co-Curator, Not Free Not Dead: The Psychedelic End Screening, Horse & Pony, Berlin, Germany


2006 MFA Sculpture; California College of the Arts, San Francisco

2004 BFA Sculpture & Women’s and Gender Studies; University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

*denotes as collaborative duo Nightmare City

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