Kerry O'Connor

Kerry O'Connor


“In short... poetically rambling and challenging patriarchal language's implications towards identity of all bodily beings


Tell us about your background, where did you grow up and where did you study art?

I grew up in Coventry and studied photography between the ages 15-18. I was never attracted to fine art during this period. I always felt out of touch with the system in which it was taught. At Secondary School it was kept traditional. We were taught by adapting to other artist's approach to creativity and I was so detached from being able to express myself in such a way. Luckily, my Photography Tutor embraced a broad spectrum of photography, art, textiles and art history. He truly believed in his students and would consistently push me towards achieving my own identity within my practice. As cliché as this may sound, I really don’t think I would be here now, still thriving to reach beyond my own development without his belief in my creativity.

I then moved onto my Foundation course at Bourneville School of Art (BCU). Here is where I realised my practice could no longer continue within photographic education. The camera was never really a tool to capture a story of my subjects but was rather a medium to document and translate the performative qualities of my practice.

In 2013 I began my BA in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins. I think university is the time when you truly relish in your practice and your environment; being surrounded by others who understand and challenge your artistic knowledge pushes your creativity to the forefront. You absorb all the creative eccentricity and begin to finally communicate in your own artistic language. I guess all boundaries are broken at university, nothing surprises me within art anymore and I’m pretty glad that its ended up that way.

Describe a real-life situation that inspired you or effected your work?

Crying at Francis Bacon's Triptych August 1972. 

From experiencing a physical emotive response I believed in the connectivity of art. Since then I inspire to stimulate the same shuddering of bones within my spectators.

What is your artwork about? Tell us about your subject matter.

The communicating body is a concept I connect to, alluring me to explore the voice experienced internally and externally. I identify the self as being situated within a monologue; whether this be our internal monologue or one that is external, influenced by society and environment. Our external monologue within the western world is patriarchal and is what builds our perspective and behaviour towards identity; controlling our behaviours and outlook towards the self and others. It is heavily bodily focused and is damaging, oppressing individuals, Othering them if they are not classed as white, middle class males. This is where patriarchal language has derived from and affects all beings within the present moment.

The external monologue creates conflict with our internal monologue and the language we use is normalised. However, we have to adapt to this imbedded language, as to escape it causes further implications. Here is where my practice steps in in assisting me towards investigating how to coexist within limiting linguistics. I delve into story telling, poetry, performance, sound art and ceramics to aid the performance of the metaphor. I persist in voicing the internal monologue’s emotive experience through my practice, stretching its vocal chords so it may be heard.

(In short... poetically rambling and challenging patriarchal language's implications towards identity of all bodily beings)

How has your practice change over time?

Reflecting on my younger self, I have scrapped photography massively. I did abandon it for three years and only recently started to reconnect with it as a form of my practice. I definitely have embraced performance, sound, poetry and installation as a holistic form of creating and are the main aspect of my practice. Although, presently I am engaging in materials that I am drawn to and being open to the outcome.


What jobs have you done other than being an artist?

All sorts! Most recently I was a Gallery Intern at Hauser & Wirth. I've been a writer, photographer, photographer assistant, artist assistant, film editor, barista, sales assistant... the forever changing list will continue to evolve!

Tell us about your studio and your routine?

Currently I'm not based in a studio. But I'll always grab a coffee at a cafe to write in the early morning. Then once I return I start making, influenced by the writing I've made.

Name some artists you're inspired by?

Carolee Schneeman, Louise Bourgeois, Cosey Fanni Tutti, Bas Jan Ader, Kate Bush & Samuel Beckett.

Do you have any news, projects or shows coming up?

This month I am featured in IMPORTANT Magazine. A great artistic mag exposing contemporary artists. Currently, I am working with a curator on a future solo show and creating a collaborative show with a fellow friend and artist.

I will be updating all future works, dates and performances on my Instagram!

Guy Marshall-Brown

Guy Marshall-Brown

William Reinsch

William Reinsch