Nashville, Tennessee
Contemporary Art Gallery

237 Rep. John Lewis Way N. 37219
Tuesday–Saturday 10:00 a.m. — 5:00 p.m.







Dorothy O’Connor | Scenes

December 7-January 11, 2014
Closing Reception: Jan. 4th, 6-9 pm
Collectors Art Night: Jan. 3rd, 6:45 pm

Tinney Contemporary is pleased to present Scenes - an exhibition featuring work by photographer and installation artist, Dorothy O'Connor.  O'Connor's Scenes is an ongoing series that 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 O'Connor's life, create a sort of conceptual autobiography-an interpretation of her own dreams.  Building these life-sized installations also allows the artist to literally live inside her own imagination, if only for a short time, and satisfies her need to create a more aesthetically pleasing reality. Each project takes months to complete, allowing O'Connor to fully immerse herself in its meticulous details. She enjoys 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 she builds 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 (installations which feature a live model), however, allows an audience to experience the scenes as O'Connor does, but also allows for viewers to add their own interpretations and ideas, thus making the story a shared experience.

For O'Connor's installation at Tinney Contemporary, entitled "Ceiling of Black Birds," she knew she wanted to make something out of paper, but as is the case with so much of her work, the specific concept came to her in a dream.  In the dream, someone turned to her and spoke the words "don't forget your funeral." O'Connor woke with a start and within minutes the entire scene was laid out in her mind. She received a grant from Flux Projects to construct the original installation and raised additional funds through One of her kickstarter rewards was a handmade paper bird and the option of sending her a small keepsake, something personal, for a bird to carry in the scene. The original scene took months to build and featured 220 handmade paper birds. O'Connor has remade the smaller birds for this version of the installation and they are available for purchase, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting animal charities in Nashville and Atlanta.

Dorothy O'Connor graduated from Georgia State University with a degree in Literature and a minor in Studio Arts. She continued her education at The Creative Circus, a commercial art school in Atlanta. Her photographs and installations feature thoughtfully composed, hand-crafted scenes which combine elements of still-life, portraiture, landscape, and performance to produce unique and evocative works of art. In 2012, she was awarded a FLUX grant and presented her installation "Ceiling of Black Birds" as part of public art event, Flux Night 2012. She began 2013 with an artist residency at the Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art in Nashville where she built her latest installation, "Shelter." Her work is included the permanent collections at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, the Center for Fine Art Photography, Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art, and many private collections.