About Ron O’Donnell


Glasgow life

one of Scotland’s finest contemporary art-photographers.

Ron O’Donnell is one of Scotland’s finest contemporary art-photographers. A highly individual talent, he has exhibited nationally and internationally and is collected by eminent institutions and discerning individuals throughout the world. Renowned for his dazzling constructed and narrative photographs, he has created a body of work alive to the thrill of our hypermodern times and replete with the pathos of our restlessness.

vibrant and effervescent, daring and humorous

Ron’s photographs, vibrant and effervescent, daring and humorous, have touched upon allegory and myth, identity and mortality. In each case he has turned a spotlight upon the foibles of human life. His images speak of love and loss, folly and foolishness, the decadent and the demoralised; in fact, the whole chimera of contemporary caprice. In this, he is a modern moralist. It might be said his work chimes with the allegories of those medieval Northern European fantasists, Bosch and Brueghel, in exploding the carnival excess of modern life. Likewise, his photographs provoke laughter and sorrow in equal measure; a revelation hidden inside a comic moment. And so if Ron is a jester-king of contemporary Scottish photography his work is also filled with a sense of consequence.

Evidence of these manifold qualities is everywhere in Ron’s sparkling catalogue of photographs. The jaded faded heroism of The Scotsman, the absurd idealism of ‘To Boldy Go…’, the dissident humour of Expulsion from the Garden, and the macabre comedy of his epic series ‘The Day of the Dead’, all are proof of his outlandish imagination. Add to this the sinister monster fixations of his earliest constructed scenes, and, the potent homage to Scotland’s finest living poet in his photographic tribute to Edwin Morgan, and Ron’s work reveals an extraordinary range to complement its remarkable depth.

popular among a wide audience.

Ron O’Donnell’s pictures are popular among a wide audience. No knowledge of art or photography is required to enjoy his work and this has, ironically, tested critics and historians invited to write or comment upon it. O’Donnell himself compounds the problem. He is an easy going man who wants to please his interviewer by providing some simple but plausible explanation as to why people find his work accessible. In short he tries to answer the unanswerable.