Tighe O’Connor completed four years at Limerick School of Art before going on to study colour theory under Professor Weber, former head of Rutgers Fine Art Faculty in New Jersey, USA. He then qualified with a B.A in Fine Art at Middlesex University, London. In 2000, he took an M.A. in Fine Art at Central St Martin’s.
His art belongs very much within the Romantic tradition, exploring as it does a transcendent space that has fascinated artists for centuries. He inflects the kind of space and sensibility of a William Blake with shadowy shapes that inhabit an ambiguous realm, neither wholly spiritual nor completely material. His artistic interests are focused on translating our more profound experiences of self into colour and form, imbuing them with emotional depth and substance. The work is abstract, pursuing the edge of the perceptual, a space that surpasses what might be found in the actual world and exploring boundaries between form and the amorphic; nevertheless, in his paintings, faint apparitions loom through the ether suggestively; divine forms hang mysteriously or leap in a bath of colour. These objects are possibly eggs, spores, bodies or cells, all tenuously primal elements and all somehow co-extensive with each other. Sometimes the experience of looking at O’Connor’s paintings invokes a joyous sensuality in the viewer with their concentration on colour; sometimes the images impose terrible visions upon us. In Losing my soul/Saving my soul, O’ Connor suggests an oceanic but strangely optimistic space in which a titanic struggle emerges between the self and unknown forces that threaten to engulf it. With his rich sense of colour and ungrounded shapes, we are put in mind of the paintings of Symbolist artists at the end of the nineteenth century such as Odilon Redon
His work in neon continues the relationship to colour we find in the paintings, all the time suggesting meaning rather than prescribing it In his abstract neon, Pi, O Connor creates a piece of lyrical, soft geometry that resists the hard edged or rigid in its morphology. Two lines meander, looping between each other in harmony and casting a halo of light on the floor. Most significantly, the circular neon is suspended in a luminous field of coloured light, establishing a dialogue with the floating forms in his paintings.