Denis O'Connor graduated from the School of Industrial Design in Wellington, and went on to study in Europe, Japan and the USA. He is concerned with refined craft and executing highly refined objects.
He has been the recipient of several residencies including in Kyoto, Japan (1982), Pietrasanta, Italy (1988), and Marseilles, France (1999). He has also been recognised with several awards including those from the QEII Arts Council and Creative New Zealand.
"Although an accomplished ceramicist O'Connor is primarily known for his emblematic forms carved in limestone, and for smaller relief images engraved and burnished into panels of grey Welsh roof slate, occasionally coloured. Legendary for his fastidious craftsmanship, O’Connor’s work abounds in references to New Zealand and Irish history for he is a gifted writer and storyteller who delights in creating unexpected juxtapositions, linking past with present. Many of his slate images are like pages in a solid, non-paper book of fables, blending his own personal family narratives into broader, even global, social histories."
~quote from Wellington Sculpture Trust