Artist making nettle paper at Lough Annaghmakerrig, County Monaghan, Ireland, 2014    

Artist making nettle paper at Lough Annaghmakerrig, County Monaghan, Ireland, 2014  

 

I make paper by hand to create installations, assemblage, sculpture and two dimensional artwork. The physical work of hand papermaking (harvest, processing and creation) connects me to the past, present and to place. The organic medium, while versatile and beautiful, is capable of communicating meaning on many levels aesthetically and conceptually. Through the practice of hand papermaking I feel I am physically connecting with its 2000 year history for the method has remained relatively unchanged. My themes, though intitially personal in nature, extend into the universal, often recalling concepts of male/female or light/dark, as well as universal symbology with respect to the elements of rock, wind, sun, water. 

Working in collaboration with other artists in different genres is something I find exciting. Collaboration gives freshness and new content to work, pushing boundaries and the medium of hand papermaking to higher levels.

The audio selection linked here is a poem created by poet, Mary Noonen. A collaboration of sorts as fellow artist-in-residence Noonen became involved in the process of papermaking with me at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in County Monaghan, Ireland, 2014.

"Nettle Paper" Ó Bhéal poetry reading at the Long Valley Pub, Cork, Ireland

Refer to Artist Books to see O'Connor's "Red Book of Annaghmakerrig" which contains Mary's and other poems, original art and handmade paper.