MARGARET O'BRIEN
Margaret O’Brien’s practice refers to a psychological in-between space, one that exists
between the private and public personas, and the self and others. This is an intangible,
insecure space, fragile and changeable in the extreme. It alludes to psychological conditions
such as obsessive behavioural patterns, paranoia, a compulsion to control, isolation,
alienation, agoraphobia, claustrophobia etc.

O’Brien draws her inspiration from the everyday, the familiar and the domestic environment.
In recreating objects or spaces that we encounter on a daily basis, she replaces their
normally functional or benign fundamentals with an element of malfunction or mishap.

O’Brien’s practice is multidisciplinary and location is fundamental to her concerns. She uses
installation as a material through which the emotive experience of a space is manipulated to
create a disorientating psychological environment. The spaces she interferes with become
highly sensory experiences. Using devices such as sporadic sound, live malfunction, scale,
and the multiple, the psyche of the viewer is affected through an involuntary, sensory
response to the work.

Education
2002-2004        M.F.A in Fine Art, The Slade School of Fine Art, London
1991-1995        B.A. in Fine Art, First Class Honours, Limerick School of Art and Design, Ireland

Awards & Residencies
2008
   Artist-in-Residence, Fire Station Artists Studio, Dublin
2007
    Artist Bursary, Arts Council of Ireland
2006
    Artist Bursary, Arts Council of Ireland
2004
   Adrian Carruthers Award, The Slade School of Fine Art, London (short listed)
2003
   Arts and Humanities Research Board, London
   Mary Farl Powers Award for Printmakers, Arts Council of Ireland
   Professional Development & Training Award, Arts Council of Ireland
   AIB Art Prize, Dublin (shortlisted)
2002
   The South Square Trust, The Slade School of Fine Art, London
   Euan Uglow Scholarship, The Slade School of Fine Art, London
   Artists Bursary, Dublin City Council
   Professional Development & Training Award, Arts Council of Ireland
2001
   2. World Festival of Art on Paper, Ljubljana (short listed)
   Artflight Travel Award, Arts Council of Ireland         
2000
   Visual Art Documentation Grant, Arts Council of Ireland
1999
   Artist-in-Residence Award, Arts Council of Ireland                

Solo Exhibitions
2008
   I live in the cracks in the ceiling, Pallas Contemporary Projects, Dublin
2007
   White Picket Fencing, The Belltable Arts Centre, Limerick, Ireland
   The Long Goodbye, Droichead Arts Centre, Drogheda, Ireland
2005
   Sea of Unknowing, Pallas Heights, Dublin, Ireland
2004
   No Man’s Land, West Cork Arts Centre, Co. Cork, Ireland        
2002
   Dirty Trash, Drogheda Arts Centre, Drogheda, Ireland

Selected Exhibitions

2009
   Soot from the Funnel, Lokaal01, Breda

2007
   The Future Can Wait, Charlie Smith Gallery, London
   Mind Mapping, Noga Gallery, Tel Aviv
   Milestones, Black Church Print Studio, Dublin
   Sound:Space, Sound Symposium, Bracknell, UK
   Cead in China, travelling to Shanghai, Beijing, Hangzhou
   Hung, drawn & quartered, Original Print Gallery, Dublin
2006
   2-3-d-5, Energy Gallery, Toronto, Canada
   Black: Implication Flooding, Colony, Birmingham
   Site-specific Exhibition, Backwater Artists Group, Cork
2005
    Clo, 411 Gallery, China
   All at once, together, at the same time, Colony, Birmingham
   Artist as Publisher, The Workroom Gallery, Dublin
2004
   Young Gods, Clapham Art Gallery, London
   Graduate Show, The Slade School of Fine Art, London
   Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin
2003
   Exhibition of Prints, Machida Municipal Museum of Prints, Tokyo
   AIB Art Prize, Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin
   Fresh Fruit, Pallas Studios, Dublin
2002
   Semi-Detached, Original Print Gallery, Dublin
   Print Alternatives, West Cork Arts Centre, Skibbereen, Cork
   Proof, The Workroom, Dublin
2001
   Print / Estampe 2001, Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris
   2. World Festival of Art on Paper, Ljubljana, Slovenia
   From Ritual to Romance, Catalyst Arts, Belfast