Diarmuid Byron O'Connor

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The clay Peter Pan
Icarus by Byron-O'Connor
Peter Pan limited edition
150 Limited edition bronze for Great Ormond Street Hospital

Diarmuid Byron O'Connor (born 7 December 1964) is a British artist, best known for his sculpture.

He attended the John Fisher School in Purley, with presenter Matthew Wright. In 1984, he started at art college in Bristol. In 1986 he joined "Changing Places", a community and environmental arts project, as a stone carver – leaving in 1988. In 1991 he studied conceptual fine art at Chelsea School of Art, London.

Starting a decorating firm, Byron-O'Connor worked evenings sculpting with wax at home. He was commissioned to create a statue of Peter Pan to stand outside Great Ormond Street Hospital [1] which was given the rights to the character by creator J. M. Barrie. Following the unveiling of this work and an exhibition of small bronzes in 2000, he built a studio for private commissions.[2] In 2005 he added a scale statue of Tinker Bell to the one of Peter Pan, unveiled by The Countess of Wessex.[3]

Byron-O'Connor's research into World War I led to him designing sets for BBC2's The Trench;[4] BBC1's The Somme - From Defeat to Victory;[5] and the Discovery Channel's Mud, Blood, and Tarmac. Whilst working on the set for BBC1's The Crafty Tricks of War he was asked to co present the series with Dick Strawbridge. He subsequently made Geronimo with Fearne Cotton for BBC1.[6]

Byron-O'Connor designed, built and codirected the Escape Bar and Art Gallery, a project in southwest London to get new art talent together with a new audience.

In 2008, Byron-O’Connor along with teacher and fellow sculptor Adam Butcher set up Site Specific Sculpture in Schools ( SSSiS). Piloting the project at Butcher’s workplace, Chestnut Grove School, London aiming to utilise the creative process to engage students with a broad range of subjects from the perspective of an artist. The project centres on the principle that knowledge sought and applied is more likely to be retained.[7]

All students answer a brief to create a sculpture within all the real parameters of an actual sculptor right down to Health and safety and budgets. A competition decides from the leading feasible solutions and Byron-O’Connor completes the pieces collaboratively.

The project recently unveiled its latest sculpture "Big Fish Little Fish" at Torpoint Community College, Cornwall. In the spring of 2011 Byron-O’Connor worked with over 700 Primary school children across three counties affected by the A3 tunnel at Hindhead. With the help of the tunnel constructors Balfour Beatty and Creative Partnersihps he is completing a piece for each of the 5 schools involved. The aim is to create a final piece for the National Trust at the Devil's Punch Bowl,Surrey.[8]

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