Dorothy O’Connor

Artist Statement

My ongoing series, Scenes, centers around transforming spaces, often a room, into fantastical landscapes which frequently utilize elements of nature and the natural world to tell a story.  Each concept, shaped predominantly by events in my life, creates a sort of conceptual autobiography, an interpretation of my own dreams.  Building these life-sized installations also allows me to literally live inside my own imagination, if only for a short time and satisfies the need to create a more aesthetically pleasing reality. Each project takes months to complete, allowing me to fully immerse myself in its meticulous details. I enjoy creating many of the components in each set by hand: crocheting the ocean, crafting hundreds of paper birds, hand-stenciling wallpaper, weaving roots from jute, etc. Learning a new skill each time I build a new scene helps to keep the process fresh.

This work began as a photography project. The scenes are captured on film and a photograph remains the lasting imprint. Opening them as tableau vivants, however, installations which feature a live model, allows an audience to experience them as I do but to add their own interpretations and ideas, thus making the story a shared experience.


Photographer Dorothy O'Connor graduated from Georgia State University with degrees in Literature and Studio Arts. She continued her education at The Creative Circus, a commercial art school in Atlanta. Her installations and resulting photographs, feature thoughtfully composed and crafted scenes, which combine elements of still-life, portraiture, performance and landscape to produce unique and evocative works of art.

Selected Exhibitions

2013    Shelter (solo exhibition and installation), Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art, Nashville, TN

            Soar, Jennifer Schwartz Gallery, Atlanta, GA 

            Slideshow, 2013 Exposure Festival, Calgary, Canada 

2012    Installation and tableau vivant opening: Ceiling of Black Birds, FLUX Night, Atlanta, GA 

            Portrait 2, Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, CO

2011    Portrait, Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, CO

            Movers and Shakers, Museum of Contemporary Art, Atlanta, GA

            Emerging Artist Award, Swan Coach House Gallery, Atlanta, GA

2010    Posther, Jackson Fine Art Westside, Atlanta, GA 

            Fantastic Plastic, Jennifer Schwartz Gallery, Atlanta, GA 

            If These Walls Could Talk, Polyester Gallery, Omaha, NE

            Black and White, The Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, CO

            Woman's Image, Hagedorn Gallery, Atlanta, GA 

2009    Small Works, Hagedorn Gallery, Atlanta, GA 

            Juried Group Show, Snapdragon Gallery, Atlanta, GA 

            What's Happening Now, Cherry Lion Studio, Atlanta, GA 

            Images Constructed, Jennifer Hunt Gallery, Birmingham, AL

            The Dream Of Life, Composition Gallery, Atlanta, GA 

            The Bed Show, Umbrella Arts, New York, NY

            ATLart House, Atlanta Gallery Association, ACP room, Atlanta, GA 

2008    Group Show, Jennifer Hunt Gallery, Birmingham, AL 

            Anna Walker Skillman Selects, Atlanta Photography Group Gallery, Atlanta, GA 

2007    The Bridal Show (solo exhibition), Composition Gallery, Atlanta, GA 

            In Your Dreams, Atlanta Photography Group Gallery, Atlanta, GA 

            Out of the South, Atlanta Photography Group Gallery, Atlanta, GA 

            Women In Photography International, online exhibition

            Juried Group Show, Women In Focus XIV, Ferst Center for the Arts, Atlanta, GA   

2006    Jane Jackson Selects Show, APG Gallery, Atlanta, GA 

            Women in Focus XIII Juried Group Show, Atlanta, GA 

            Georgia to Georgia, Brezler Gallery, Atlanta, GA  

2005    Juried Group Show, Women in Focus XII, Function, Decatur, GA 

            Women in Photography International, online exhibition

2004    Slow Exposures, Juried Group Show, Pike County, GA 

            Juried Group Show, Madison Morgan Cultural Center, Madison, GA