Sculptor John O’Connor – a hidden talent in the heart of East Anglia

Posted: July 31, 2017

John O’Connor

On the picturesque estuary border between Essex and Suffolk there is a hidden artist’s studio. It remains a secret to the general public but the studio receives commissions from across the globe. A true asset to the local community and the international art scene alike.

This secret is sculptor John O’Connor. He works prolifically in his studio at Manningtree, a world away from the hustle and bustle of any art capital. He has as much talent and focus as any artist you would expect to find working in a major city and has been producing figurative contemporary sculpture for the last 18 years.

John’s work has become increasingly popular and much sought after, in fact, business is booming. Amidst the glamour of celebrities and the household names of the garden design world, John was once again exhibiting his art works at the recent RHS Chelsea Flower Show. He was delighted to have again been working in collaboration with award winning garden designer James Basson. This year Basson designed the M&G show garden.

This summer he exhibited at two other RHS shows, Chatsworth House (June 7–11), and Hampton Court Flower Show (July 3–9).

Collaborating with John on the RHS shows will be various local companies including Dedham Vale Vineyards who will be sponsoring the private view with their delicious sparkling English Brut, and Essex based stonemasons, Wood For Stone, who will be providing the stone for this years exhibit. This years planting will also be provided by the Oxford based Water Perry Gardens. John also has various other prominent shows planned for this year. These include a collaborative exhibition on the female form, organised by Belinda Grey from Art for Cure and will be held at The Garage Gallery, Aldeburgh on June 14.

John will also be exhibiting at the Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden in Surrey a renowned and long established sculpture garden, open until October. Last year the renowned garden designer Chris Beardshaw commissioned John’s sculpture “Joy” to feature in his Great Ormond Street Hospital garden. The installation process was featured on the popular BBC show, DIY SOS. ‘Joy’ is a beautiful bronze, a smiling child who gazes up into the sky, she offers comfort and optimism, a heart warming piece to lift the spirits of patients and families alike.

John is also thrilled to announce that his work will be exhibited in the 2018 Art For Cure summer exhibition at Glenham Hall in Suffolk. So keep your eyes peeled for this show too.

He works predominantly in bronze and each sculpture is cast as a limited edition from the original mould. The piece is then hand finished and patinated resulting in a unique and personal work of art. His sculptures vary in size, from small works at around 25cm to lifesize. All works are suitable for both interior and exterior display.

John’s sculptures command their space, and deal with the determination and the fragility of humanity. His signature style is clear to see with the exaggerated form and the sincere emotional study of the lone figure. He has always held an interest in the idea of extended consciousness and the entangled relationship between the human mind and the essence of nature itself. Key works such as Innerspace, Beyond Limitations and more recently Alchemy of the Heart encapsulate his recognisable style.

His work is a rare treat for the eyes and the soul in equal measure.

For more information on John’s work, please visit his website and sign up to the newsletter where you will get invites to all of his shows.

For all enquires contact


Article extracted from David Burrs Rooftops Summer 2017 Edition