Dorothy O’Connor - Shelter
Atlanta-based artist, 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. In 2006, she and a friend built the first tableau vivant for a photo shoot in her unfinished studio in Atlanta. The resulting image, Asleep, was the first of a series of Scenes that O’Connor has built and photographed over the last few years.
For her role as the 2013 Martin Shallenberger Artist-in-Residence, O’Connor created a new installment of her acclaimed series Scenes at Cheekwood. During her residency at Cheekwood and throughout the subsequent exhibition, O’Connor created a multilayered installation covering multiple gallery spaces. Visitors found Cheekwood’s Frist Learning Center galleries transformed into an enchanted forest constructed from the pages of books, complete with handmade animals, forest details and other props. O’Connor’s vision for the site was inspired by Cheekwood’s beautiful natural landscape, particularly the trees in and around its gardens. Trees appear frequently in the artist’s work, representing significant concepts such as aging, history, life and death. The piece incorporated the root system of a forest, with the central part of the scene installed in the Frist Learning Center’s Courtyard Gallery and additional video documentation and installations in the exhibition stables.