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Paul O'Donnell was born in Manchester in 1953 and went on to study Chemistry at Durham University. He did not complete the degree and drifted into vagrancy. During this time he experimented with various art practices which eventually coalesced into photographic projects, having his first solo exhibition at The Open Eye Gallery In 1984.
Since then he has had many exhibitions; for example, The V&A London and The Photographer's Gallery Dublin, and has been in receipt of numerous Arts Council grants. He now has an MA in Photographic Studies and teaches full time at Birmingham City University.
Paul works on a number of projects simultaneously and continues to add to past projects. His most recent work is called 'Photographic configurations from the Basilica of St Pauls', Birmingham. This purports to be a documentation of the artworks from a recently discovered Basilica in Birmingham. Also 'Foxes are lone wolves', which could be called personal visual investigations into melancholy and loss.
He also continues to add to his long-lasting project called 'The Sunken Gardens'.
Paul has received more than seven Arts Council grants and one Lottery Grant for his own work since 1984.
Exrtemus: In association with The National Academy of Writing. A prose poem was published in this book that was inspired by Paul's work from the exhibition 'Tenebrae' at Birmingham City University. His images were also shown whilst his poem was read at The Birmingham Book Festival. The work called 'Tenebrae' was collected for the Birmingham library's archive, an archive of world importance.
Perspectives: In association with The Colmore Business District and Magnum Photo agency. Paul had five images in this publication.
There were many publications online and hard copy with subsequent media interest from the exhibition 'An uncommon Grace' which was curated by the American photographer Mitch Epstein and included images from Paul's archive at The Open Eye Gallery. Material was also published from The National Photography Symposium at the Bluecoats Gallery at which ;he was a speaker.
Me v U: The catalogue for the exhibition Me v U. This included some leading artists of world significance. Six of Paul's images were included in this exhibition.
O'Donnell (2011), Speaker at National Photography Symposium, Liverpool.
O'Donnell (2011), 'Ill-being', The international Well-being conference.
2012 Works from the contemporary collection. Wolverhampton Museum.
2011 An uncommon grace. Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool.
2011 Perspectives of the Colmore Business District. BCU and the Library of Birmingham.
2008 Me v U. Oriel Davies Gallery, Wales.