Conor O’Leary

By 26th March 2019 May 31st, 2019 Irish Photographers

Born 26 December 1980
Website conoroleary.com

Conor O’Leary was born Wexford, a town in the South East of Ireland (1980) and studied Photojournalism in the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David. Following graduation he relocated to London. He currently works as an editorial photographer and also makes his own work, primarily long-term projects. Exhibitions include ‘Free-range’ at the Old Truman Brewery London, and photo documentation project ‘Out of sight, out of mind’, about a small community of Irish travellers, exhibited as a solo show in Wexford Art Centre, Ireland in 2010. His editorial work has appeared in publications including The New York Times, Fader, The Financial Times and The Telegraph Magazine. He is also a regular contributor to Helsingin Sanomat, the largest daily newspaper in the Nordic region.

Bio & Career

“I’m interested in the temporal intimacies created by the encounters I engineer with strangers. This is a conscious move to encounter the lives of ordinary people. Engaging with strangers is important to my working process. Being open and honest with strangers enables me to create an intimate moment with someone I have just met.
Recent personal work includes ‘Eternal Spring’, a series made in Lanzarote. The work consists of portraits of local teenagers and landscapes. These fleeting intimacies were created by both the sitter and myself engaging in open and frank conversations. We spoke about life on the island and their hopes for the future. It’s these intimate encounters that encourage me to continue making work.
Recent personal work includes ‘Eternal Spring’, a series made in Lanzarote. The work consists of portraits of local teenagers and landscapes.
In early 2016, I undertook the Viippola artist residency in Tornio, a small town in Northern Finland that borders Sweden. While in Tornio I was interested in the sense of safety and community people feel living in a small isolated town and wanted to make work that reflected that by collaborating with strangers I encountered. I recently published this work through YELLOBELLI a small publishing project I use to distribute my work.
In 2017, I was commissioned by The National Gallery of Ireland to make work in response to their Historic Wing reopening. The aim of this project was to capture both the building itself, and public engagement with the institution. Through image, text, and audio, will recorded the impressions, responses and stories of those he met during through a photographer in residence programme.” (Artist’s statement)

Publications

Photography books by Conor O’Leary

  • 2018, Tornio, London: YELLOBELLI

Exhibitions

Solo exhibitions

  • 2019 March 2, Walks, Anne Mullee, The Courtyard Gallery, Ennistymon, Ireland

Projects

  • Eternal Spring (2018)
    The work consists of portraits of local teenagers and landscapes. These fleeting intimacies were created by both the sitter and myself engaging in open and frank conversations.
  • 14-23 The National Gallery of Ireland (2017)
    Work commissioned by The National Gallery of Ireland in response to their Historic Wing reopening. The aim of this project was to capture both the building itself, and public engagement with the institution.
  • Tornio (2016)
    Tornio, a small town in Northern Finland that borders Sweden. While in Tornio I was interested in the sense of safety and community people feel living in a small isolated town and wanted to make work that reflected that by collaborating with strangers I encountered.