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