Artist Dorothy O’Connor’s current exhibition at Tinney Contemporary is delightfully unconventional. O’Connnor has constructed “Ceiling of Black Birds,” a room within the gallery that brings fantasy to life. With thorns lining the walls, old books strewn whimsically across the floor, models wearing flowing dresses, and paper birds appearing to swarm the ceiling, the room transports viewers into a dream world.
Behind this enchanting installation, there’s a lot of hard work. This installation combines adeptness in creative vision, craftwork, interior design, styling, and photography. O’Connor hand-made the birds using paper from old novels, bibles, and encyclopedias. She painted some to look like black birds, but left others unpainted. She hung most of the birds from the ceiling, but some can be seen stealing small trinkets around the room. If you look closely, you’ll see she placed one real stuffed bird among the paper birds.
For the walls, O’Connor found thorns on a friend’s pasture, cut them down, shucked them, stained them, and finally installed. Once the room was constructed, she artfully arranged the antique furniture that once belonged to her grandparents. During tableau vivant performances of the installation, O’Connor styled and directed the models. In addition to designing, constructing, and directing these installations, O’Connor photographs her work. O’Connor’s fine art photography of her previous installations are also part of the current exhibit at Tinney Contemporary.
Dorothy O’Connor lives in Atlanta. In addition to art, her passions include literature and music. She cares deeply for animals and donates much of her time to animal shelters.The hand-made birds featured in “Ceiling of Black Birds” are available for purchase at the gallery. A portion of the proceeds will go towards animal charities in Nashville and Atlanta. To learn more about Dorothy O’Connor, visit her website here.