Carla O’Brien’s love for light art began in 2009 when she visited the Burning Man Festival in Nevada, USA. Using LED Neon Flex, a revolutionary replacement for traditional glass neon, she creates awe-inspiring neon art installations for festivals and events, restaurants and bars, and various private collections. Her highly interactive neon installations are social media and crowd favourites and her vast body of work has made her the most prolific neon artist working in Australia with more than 3 million people having an interactive experience with her installations.
O’Brien’s signature neon art piece NEON ANGEL WINGS, was first seen at White Night Melbourne in 2015 and then went globally viral when Katy Perry put a photo of herself on Instagram ‘wearing’ the WINGS at the Burning Man Festival in 2016.
NEON ANGEL WINGS returned to White Night Melbourne and Ballarat in 2017, along with a pair of neon BABY WINGS and a new installation, LOVE THIS WAY, comprising an oversized neon word ‘LOVE’ with a giant arrow leading to 10 interactive neon love hearts.
In May 2017, O’Brien held her first solo month-long exhibition, NEON NIGHT GARDEN, at QV Square in Melbourne featuring a collection of things found in a garden including tree, a kite, a flamingo, people and umbrellas. In November 2017, her neon exhibition, ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE, headlined the Kaleidoscope Festival in Joondalup, WA.
In 2018, she returned to White Night Melbourne and Ballarat with a new installation NEON DOG PARK featuring 7 neon dogs, including a dog peeing on a tree with a cat on a tree limb, an interactive ball and bone and a giant WOOF and ARROW leading to the Neon Dog Park.
In 2019, O’Brien debuted a NEON WINTER collection of snow and winter related neons, a new installation NEON DOORWAYS and two of her largest pieces to date for QV Melbourne, a color changing 8 arched NEON ARCHWAY and NEON WALL.
From 1997-2012 O’Brien lived in Los Angeles, USA and founded Mecco Inc. to launch various creative entrepreneurial endeavours. Her most successful creation was Fortune Tee, t-shirts featuring fortune cookie messages and lucky numbers gift packaged in Chinese take-out boxes. Fortune Tee became an instant pop culture phenomenon with many A-list celebs like Oprah Winfrey sending them as gifts.
Now based in her hometown of Melbourne, Australia, O’Brien focuses on creating custom-designed neon art.