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The Australian Times

May 22, 2017

‘Angels and Wolves’ is a gothic fairytale collaboration showcasing artwork by international award winning artists Gerard O’Connor and Marc Wasiak. We were privy to attend the preview of ‘Angles and Wolves’, with the the perfect backdrop for this extraordinary exhibition held the Melbourne Flower Merchant in Bourke Street.

Angels and Wolves is an art exhibition that boasts the elements of photography. The theme is gothic, and true to it’s name ‘Angels and Wolves’, the artwork encapsulated dark and mystical set designs with gothic undertones of red floral elements, elaborate costumes and make up. The seven masterpieces within the exhibition were titled ‘Wedlock’, ‘Phenomena’, ‘Archangel’, Triumveratae’, ‘Disciple’, ‘Gregori Trinity’ and ‘Canis Lupas’ showcasing the ‘Angels and Wolves’.

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Australian Photography: Gerard O'Connor named Canon AIPP Australian Professional Photographer of the Year

June 2011

Gerard O’Connor has been named 2011 Canon AIPP Australian Professional Photographer of the Year.  The award continues an excellent run for the Melbourne-based fashion, editorial, portrait and advertising photographer, who was also highly commended in this year’s Moran Prize.
     As overall winner, O’Connor will receive more than $20,000 worth of Canon EOS professional digital camera equipment. O'Connor also picked up the title of AIPP Fine Art Photographer of the Year.

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Re/Gendered

25 January – 26 February, 2010

Artists: Monika Tichacek (Sydney), Tejal Shah (Bombay), Jake Wotherspoon (Melbourne), Drew Pettifer (Melbourne), Fran Barrett, Kate Blackmore & Anastasia Zaravinos (Sydney), Liam Benson (Sydney), 4evamore (Melbourne), Michelle Tran (Melbourne), Gerard O’Connor & Marc Wasiak (Melbourne).

Re/Gendered brought together a number of local and international artists in a group exhibition that celebrated the notion of fluid or ‘unstable’ gender. Set in a public thoroughfare beneath Flinders Street train station, the exhibition and accompanying performances aimed to transgress and blur the boundaries of binary gender. In turn joyful, disturbing, and deliberately ambiguous, the selected artworks expose the theatricality involved in our everyday performance of gender roles.

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Melbourne Spring Fashion Week kicks off with Victoriana: Pleasure Garden

By Janice Breen Burns

August 28, 2015 — 10.15am

Willowy girls and muscular boys aren't the only beauties booked to model at Melbourne Spring Fashion Week, the annual frockfest which kicked off on Friday with Vogue's Fashion Night Out shopping spree.

On Saturday night, at the city's lush fringe among the dusk-lit trees of Fitzroy Gardens, tight-laced maidens will model ensembles suited to a spot of gentle archery, nymphs and faeries will flit about in diaphanous frocks fashioned especially for flitting, and an elegant "fox" will demonstrate the ideal tailored ensemble for the modern Victorian gentleman. That's Victorian; the era, not Victoria, the state.

Hundreds of Melburnians who fancy a bit of history with their fashion will also fill the Fitzroy gardens' exotic Conservatory and surrounds for the culmination of "Victoriana. Pleasure Garden", a year-long project by Melbourne fashion photographer Gerard O'Connor and stylist Marc Wasiak.

The opening of an exhibition of large format photographs (some two metres high), is part of MSFW's curated programme of art and cultural events running parallel to its catwalk show schedule in the town hall and city square.

"Victoriana was a love project," says O'Connor. "It involved a lot of passionate people making an idea come to life."

About 100 people, in fact, including wardrobe assistants, prop and set builders, hair and make-up artists, special effects artists, film crew, dressers and general gofers, volunteered to create or play characters in the pair's fantastic vision of a grand Victorian spectacle, shot over three days at the National Trust's Ripponlea Mansion.

"We've always gravitated to the Victorian era and its crazy extremes," says Wasiak. "It was a tight-laced, conservative time, but it had a real undercurrent of perversity. Science and spirituality co-existed: people believed in the occult and seances and nymphs and fairies, yet someone was also discovering that we all have different blood types."

Late last year, Wasiak and O'Connor began conjuring characters and vignette storylines to slot into their imaginary garden party. "There's a lot going on when you get a group of people together," Wasiak says. "A lot the viewer might not usually see; a couple might be breaking up, or someone could be going through someone else's handbag …"

The potential for intrigue was limitless and the pair let their imaginations rip. In the Victoriana Pleasure Garden tableau, a butler balks as a dowager and faun doze in the sun, foxes and peacocks strut about, evil creatures with slit eyes and snouts slither through the undergrowth, a giant tortoise shuffles around an opulent buffet.

After a three day shoot at the height of last summer, followed by months of post-production wizardry, the result, finished this week, is a hyper-real snapshot of life on a lovely spring day, 150 years ago.

O'Connor says the link between Victoriana and MSFW is whimsically obvious.

"For one thing, people are still as bawdy, silly, sexy, naughty, whatever, as they ever were, and spring's still the biggest season in fashion," he says. "The garden party was where people showed off their new clothes."

O'Connor and Wasiak are renowned for their extravagant photographic tableaux. They take time out from their commercial work to collaborate on spectacular scenes of battle, bordellos, a 1950s beach and recently, a Victorian funeral made all the more dramatic when they blasted the cast of widows and mourners with water from a fake rain machine.