Photographer Anne O'Connor is inspired by Tasmanian landscapes

Picture: Phillip Biggs
Picture: Phillip Biggs

Anne O’Connor has a long and fruitful history in both photography and art.

The Launceston-based photographer said her interest in photography started when she was very young.

“I’ve been a photographer since I was tiny. My dad was a photographer, and I grew up with him,” she said.

“I joined the Australian Photographic Society in 1998 ... I started to feel a bit bored, and that there had to be something else. I wanted to move away from traditional work and into contemporary. 

“APS had a contemporary group, and they were trying to break away from the traditional work. I joined them, and I started to look at photography from a different perspective,” she said.

O’Connor had previously received Honours from the Federation of International Photographic Art for her traditional work, but aimed attain a Masters distinction. 

“The biggest one [FIPA] had was called Master, where you gain your Masters in Photographic Art. 

“I thought I’d see what I could do using a contemporary way of thinking,” she said. “In 2014, I ended up getting it.”

“I was the third Australian and the first woman to ever get that award, so that was quite an amazing feat,” O’Connor said.

After retiring, O’Connor aimed to get more involved in art and to get her work shown at galleries. 

“One day I was sitting at Blue Cafe with a friend, and we went into the [University of Tasmania] and I said, ‘I wonder what’s happening at Summer School?’”

I was the third Australian and the first woman to ever get that award, so that was quite an amazing feat.

Artist and photographer Anne O'Connor

“We went in and had a look, and we both signed up. She quit, but I stayed. I ended up staying at UTAS to do a Bachelor of Contemporary Art, which I graduated from in 2015,” she said.

O’Connor now mixes art and photography to create her work.

“I’ve been using brushed aluminium and acrylic. I love the aluminium because it gives me a 3D look,” she said. “I started messing around with stitching photographs – one of them that I did I was a finalist for in the Bay of Fires Art Prize last year.

“I did painting and I did a few others things while I was at uni, but they said that photography is my strength and I need to stick with it.”

O’Connor said that she draws inspiration from the landscapes of Tasmania. 

“I have a thing for trees, and I have a thing for the ocean, which is shown in my art.”

For now, O’Connor is still contemplating what 2018 has in store. 

“At the moment, I’m figuring it out. Everything is constantly evolving,” she said.

Anne O’Connor is represented by the Nolan Gallery at Salamanca Place in Hobart. 

Her latest exhibition, Extensions of the Ordinary, opened on January 5.

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