Margaret O’Brien’s work explores the nature of the in-between, and our individual negotiations of time and space within the everyday. Using particular practices of repetition- non-linear concepts of time and space are presented in the work as past, present and future dimensions, which occur almost simultaneously through the consistency of the repeat. Here, the critical nature of repetition is not attached to a superficial rendering of a multiple or series work, but to a mechanism of repeat that manifests as an internal fundamental structure. O’Brien works with a variety of materials including electrical currents, live sound, light, and kinetics.
Her approach is not prescriptive, and embraces an experimental use of materials that disturb a pre-existing or familiar relationship to the object. With strong sensitivities to site and context, she develops immersive installations as a means of connecting materially, physically and psychologically to a space, whilst challenging passive modes of viewing. She draws on the physical and psychological relationship of the self or viewer to the environment and manipulates the psyche in an immediate, involuntary response to the work. The precarious nature of many of the works suggests a risk of failure or breakdown, situating them in an insecure space through their very manufacture. This is a critical space within her practice that the work occupies intentionally. Within this, the nature of sculpture as something changing and unfixed is also explored.
Margaret O’Brien most recent solo ‘Othering’ show took place in Platform Arts, Belfast in 2014. She graduated with a MFA in Fine Art from The Slade School of Fine Art in London, and is currently working on a PhD in Trinity College Dublin, where she also gained a MPhil in Irish Art.
This studio residency is a continuation of one initially taken by O’Brien during 2015.