NASHVILLE – Atlanta-based artist, Dorothy O’Connor, will be creating a new installment of her acclaimed series “Scenes” at Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art this spring in her role as the 2013 Martin Shallenberger Artist-in-Residence.
Open studio hours will be held 10 a.m. till noon Tuesdays through Thursdays until Thursday, April 4, for visitors to observe her at work. Once completed, the new exhibition “Shelter” will debut to the public Saturday, April 6, and be on display until late June.
O’Connor will create a multilayered installation covering multiple gallery spaces.
Visitors will find Cheekwood’s Frist Learning Center galleries transformed into an enchanted forest constructed from the pages of books 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 will incorporate 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 in the exhibition stables.
O’Connor’s “Scenes” series spans the last seven years, combining elements of still life, portraiture and landscape to produce unique and evocative works of installation art. Working in the style of a tableau vivant, or living picture, the artist constructs dramatic and fanciful scenes using everyday objects and handmade sculptural elements.
When the setting is complete, she incorporates a live model into the scene in an active role, using the human presence as a catalyst in telling the installation’s story. O’Connor then captures the scene with a large-format camera, giving each story a second life as a photograph.
Now in its second year, the Martin Shallenberger Artist-in-Residence program brings national and international artists to Nashville to create one-of-a-kind pieces at Cheekwood.
For more information, visit www.cheekwood.org.