A photography student from the University of Northampton is playing a crucial role in bringing the nation’s collection of sculptures to a global audience.
Mark O’Connor is one of a few photographers selected to travel around the UK taking pictures of sculptures in museums, galleries, parks, streets and squares.
The images will form part of the Art UK Sculpture national project. Supported by a National Lottery grant, this highly ambitious initiative will digitise 150,000 of the nation’s sculptures and display them on the Art UK website.
Mark, who kicks off his tour in May at Northampton Museum & Art Gallery, will be visiting venues across the Midlands over the next two years.
He said: “I’m chuffed to bits. I was confident, but had never worked in this field before so I was a bit dubious as to whether I would get in.”
Mark added: “I wouldn’t be doing the project if it wasn’t for the University, because I found out about the opportunity from our Head of Photography. Being on the course means you get to hear about so many different opportunities, which would otherwise pass you by.”
Mature student Mark set up his photography business five years ago, after becoming disillusioned with his career.
“I worked in finance for 20 years, and got sick and tired of it,” said Mark. “I decided to set up as a photographer and haven’t looked back since.
“I then wanted to expand my technological and artistic know-how, so I enrolled on the Photography course at the University.
“Now, when I look back at some of the photos I had taken when I started out, they look awful to me – I’ve learnt so much on the course and have become a much better photographer as a result.”
Art UK certainly thinks so, as Mark passed a rigorous selection process to land the sculpture project gig.
“They were impressed with my portfolio and were particularly impressed with my knowledge of how to use light when shooting still life. There were a high number of applicants, but I managed to rise above them all and be selected.”
Visit Mark’s business website, O’Connor Photography.