Margaret O’Brien (b. 1972)
Margaret O’Brien’s practice explores the hypothesis of repetition in art as a mechanism of semiotic destabilisation, that is, a device that undermines an otherwise reading of the work with the continuous presentation of an alternative. Through a challenging practice involving immersive installation and sculpture, she uses aspects of repetition as a critical and performative structure that disrupts potential contexts and interpretations. This approach is not prescriptive and each work demonstrates an experimental use of materials or media that disturb a pre-existing or familiar relationship to the object. Within this practice, O’Brien is also concerned with boundaries between the physical and the psychological in the apprehension and negotiation of objects, and the conditions of time and space.
Recent solo exhibitions include Othering (2014), Platform Arts, Belfast and Nonknowledge (2013), nag gallery, Dublin. Recent awards include Travel & Training Award (2013), Arts Council of Ireland; Development Fund Award (2013), NCAD; Glin-Crookshank Prize (2012), Trinity College, Dublin. Residencies include Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris in 2013, DCC residency award in 2013–14 and Fire Station Artist Studios in 2008–2011