Richard O’Farrell’s passion for photography was fired when his late father,
the eminent historian Professor Patrick O’Farrell, challenged him with a project –
to produce a series of black and white images for his book, Vanished Kingdoms (NSWUP, 1990),
a history of the Irish in Australia and New Zealand.
With maps and a guide to hidden cemeteries and other historical places in Victoria, New South Wales and New Zealand, Richard O’Farrell came across powerful moments and imagery. He not only completed the project successfully but also exhibited the photographs under the title The Shaken Foil at the Chapter Hall Museum, Sydney, in 1992.
O’Farrell’s enthusiasm for unique and solitary scenes continues to be the driving force behind his photography. He enjoys the constant challenge of finding these places, moments, objects and spaces, then expressing what he sees in fine black and white photographs.
In 1994 O’Farrell exhibited Silent Spaces in association with an international conference on the influence of philosopher Michel Foucault. Some of the photographs from this exhibition were used to illustrate the conference report, Foucault: The Legacy (QUT, 1997).
More recently O’Farrell’s photographs have been shown in various venues on the NSW Central Coast where he lives and works. His photographs appear regularly in group exhibitions at Point Light however it is his four solo shows at that gallery which have inspired the greatest response.
In 2009 O’Farrell’s haunting portrait of a blind albino girl, Savitri, won the prestigious Olive Cotton Award for Excellence in Photographic Portraiture.
- 2005 One, Gosford Regional Gallery
- One, Point Light Gallery
- 2006 Virginia's Dance School, Point Light Gallery
- 2007 Vanished Kingdoms, NSW State Parliament
- 2009 Thoughts, Point Light Gallery
- 2011 Polishing the Stars, Point Light Gallery