O’Connell, (Toc) is an artist, tutor, Buddhist meditator, queer activist and workshop leader. His current work is coloured by an increasingly expanding
view of the nature and reality of our experience.
Tony has been lecturing Fine Arts at Foundation level (F.E) in Liverpool for 17 years. In that period he has seen a great many young artists transformed by their arts practice in terms of confidence, self-expression, analytical thinking skills and communication. He regards this as of greater value than the rigid learning of skills or information. Education at this level can be transformative on many levels.
After completing B.A Fine Arts Sculpture at Staffordshire University in 1994 and several teaching qualifications thereafter, Tony is still fascinated by the healing, cathartic and spiritual worth of education and creative practice.
Years of experience means he is in a position to recognise the enriching, humanising value of these practices. He regards these to be profound and beyond value in the ordinary sense.
His work as an artist is concerned with questioning hierarchy, reclaiming symbols and validating spiritual worth, particularly from an LGBT standpoint. He has exhibited in Britain and America and explores the process of sculpture, photography, drawing, print and performance. His overriding themes are to do with reclaiming spiritual imagery and designing ritual and pilgrimage toward personal meaning. His visual exploration is a conversation with the viewer which is attempting to explore ideas that are provocative yet compassionate.
Tony has been dedicated to his meditation practice for over twenty years.
He has worked with diverse groups of people and led various mediation groups. He regards meditation as a perfect step in the human journey toward happiness and wellness and a method for making the best of our lives in every positive sense.