Dorothy O’Connor


This project began with the desire to build an image around fire, which led to creating a series on the elements. Curiously though, the project began to take on a life of its own. Each image became less about the series and more about telling a story. The desire to build certain components into each set became a compulsion for me, as did the need to make the image in my mind a reality. It was only after completing the first few photographs that I began to realize I was symbolically investigating my own life. Each picture was part of a conceptual autobiography which, when viewed, became much like interpreting my own dreams. I was pictorially capturing my memoirs, acknowledging unrealized emotions and motivations, and examining my own nostalgia. Also, I think that creating these spaces allows me to literally live in my own imagination, if only for a short time, and satisfies my need to create a more aesthetically pleasing reality. In 2008, I began opening my scenes as installations, which feature a live model and allow an audience to experience them as I do but to add their own interpretations and ideas, thus making the story a shared experience. Finally tearing it all down and ending with an empty space again, inevitably means that I am ready to let it go and start the next chapter.


Installation Video courtesy of Dustin Chambers

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