By Laura Collinson

Literature and Studio Arts graduate, Dorothy O’Connor, has created this conceptual series entitled Scenes, which transforms events from throughout her life into fine art. Her installations are, “thoughtfully composed and hand-crafted scenes which combine elements of still-life, portraiture, landscape and performance to produce unique and evocative works of art.”

The styling in terms of the colours and props, lends itself to themes we’d associate with the work of the Pre Raphaelites. Some of the photograph’s subjects are posed in flowing dresses with hair that’s equally as flowing. The level of detail involved in each ‘scene’ is astounding, with the images building up a visual autobiography of the artist.

On her website, O’Connor writes: “My ongoing series “Scenes” centres around transforming spaces, often a room, into fantastical landscapes which frequently utilise 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.

“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, weaving a ceiling of 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 the scenes 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.”

O’Connor has received grants from Possible Futures, FLUX and the Forward Arts Foundation to help provide a platform for her stunning installations. These photographs are lasting documentation of the sets, and have been exhibited across America, as well as the artist’s work being part of the permanent collections at three major galleries, and in many private collections.

Discover more at

Via My Modern Met | Image credit: Dorothy O’Connor

Read more here:: Scenes: Artist creates dreamlike and fantastical settings for her surreal, live installations