Margaret O’Brien

BA, MFA, MPhil


Margaret O’Brien is an artist, researcher, and educator working with experimental forms of installation, sculpture, sound and kinetics. O’Brien completed BA studies at Limerick School of Art, MFA degree at the Slade School of Art, London, and MPhil at The Irish Art Research Centre, Trinity College Dublin. She has recently submitted a PhD through TRIARC, TCD. O’Brien has won significant awards and funding from various arts organisations and research bodies including the Arts Council of Ireland, the Arts and Humanities Research Council U.K., the Irish Research Council, Dublin City Council, South Dublin City Council, Trinity College Dublin, and University College London. She has been awarded many high profile artist residencies such as the Irish Museum of Modern Art; Helsinki International Artist Residency in association with Temple Bar Gallery and Studios; Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris; and Fire Station Artist Studios, Dublin. O’Brien has developed an international exhibition record to include the Torrence Art Museum, Los Angeles; Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel; Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris; Tokyo Municipal Museum; Galerie Schuster, Berlin; Flux Factory, New York; Old Truman Brewery, London; Fieldgate Gallery, London, and Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions. O’Brien has held lecturing positions at Crawford College of Art, Cork and at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge and has been invited as a visiting lecturer at educational institutes across the UK and Ireland.


2017 Trinity Visual and Performing Arts Fund, Trinity College Dublin

2017 Anthology Art Prize UK, curated by Matthew Collings (Artist, Writer), Faye Dowling (Curator, Editor, Producer), Kate Bryan (Curator, Broadcaster, Art Historian), Zavier Ellis (Gallery Director, Curator, Collector) and Bert Moore (Collector) (short listed)

2015-2016 Irish Research Council, PhD Fellowship award for continuing research

2015 Artist Bursary, South Dublin County Council

2014 Travel & Training Award, Arts Council of Ireland

2013 Travel & Training Award, Arts Council of Ireland

2014 HIAP Artist Residency Bursary, Temple Bar Gallery & Studios, Dublin

2013 National College of Art & Design, Development Fund Award

2012 - 2015 Trinity College Studentship, PhD award, Dublin

2012 The Red Stables Studios award, Dublin City Council

2012 Crookshank-Glin Prize MPhil Thesis of Distinction, Trinity College Dublin

2010 National College of Art & Design, Development Fund Award

2008 - 2010 Artist Bursary, Arts Council of Ireland – 3 year bursary

2008 AIB Art Award, Dublin (shortlisted)

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 - 2004 Arts and Humanities Research Board, London

2003 Mary Farl Powers Award, Arts Council of Ireland

2003 AIB Art Award, Dublin (shortlisted)

2003 Professional Development & Training Award, Arts Council of Ireland

2002 - 2004 Euan Uglow Scholarship, The Slade School of Fine Art, London

2002 Professional Development & Training Award, Arts Council of Ireland

2003 The South Square Trust, The Slade School of Fine Art, London

2002 Artist Bursary, Dublin City Council

2002 The South Square Trust, The Slade School of Fine Art, London

2001 Travel & Training Award, Arts Council of Ireland

2000 Artist Bursary, Arts Council of Ireland

1999 Artist Residency Award, Arts Council of Ireland

1998 Artist Documentation Award, Arts Council of Ireland

Solo exhibitions

2017 Through a Glass Darkly, Galway Arts Centre

2017 This isn’t it, nag gallery, Dublin

2015 Without a Future, MART galleries 1 & 2, Dublin

2014 Othering, Platform for the Arts, Belfast

2013 Nonknowledge, nag gallery, Dublin

2008 I live in the cracks in the walls, Pallas Contemporary Projects, Dublin

2007 White Picket Fencing, The Belltable Arts Centre, Limerick, Ireland

2007 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, Droichead Arts Centre, Drogheda, Ireland


Curated Exhibitions

2018 LUX, Solstice Arts Centre, Navan, curated by Davey Moor

2018 Acts to Objects, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions

2017 Anthology Art Prize UK, Charlie Smith Gallery London

2017 Destroy these Walls, Arena 1 Gallery, Santa Monica Art Studios, Los Angeles

2016 Activating Pangea, DAC Gallery, Los Angeles, curated by MART gallery

2016 Glitch, curated by MART, Rua Red & MART galleries, Dublin

2016 RHA Annual Show, Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin

2016 Supermarket, Stockholm International Art Fair, represented by MART, Dublin

2015 Santa Monica Art Studios Gallery, Los Angeles

2015 Instinct, Los Angeles Centre for Digital Art, Los Angeles

2014 Winter Open curated by Cliodhna Shaffrey, Jennie Guy and Matthew Nevin, Rua Red, Dublin.

2014 +Battery-, Foundation 14 Arts Festival, Offaly County Council in association with The Arts Council of Ireland, directed and curated by Brendan Fox.

2014 Sculpture in Context, Botanic Gardens, Dublin

2014 Re-Framing the Domestic in Irish Art curated by Amanda Coogan, Jane Humphries and Aoife Ruane, Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda

2013 Ouvert Atelier in conjunction with Traces of Peter Rice, Centre Culturel des Irlandais, Paris

2013 Repeat Please, nag gallery, Dublin collaboration with artists Olive Barrett, Louise Marlborough and musician Mark Ellis

2012 New Living Artists III curated by Tactic Cork, Moxie Studios and Steambox, Dublin

2012 Television, Tactic, Cork

2012 Dublin Contemporary Art Fair, Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin

2011 Invite or Reject, Flux Factory, New York

2011 Myles Away From Illustration: The Influence of Flann O'Brien on the Visual Arts, University of Vienna, travelling to Strabane, Northern Ireland in 2012

2011 Polemically Small curated by Zavier Ellis, Edward Lucie-Smith, Max Presneill & Simon Rumley, Torrence Art Museum, Los Angeles and Charlie Smith Gallery, London

2010 Materials Worlds curated by Riann Coulter, FE McWilliam Gallery, Co Down. An exhibition of contemporary sculpture by 8 artists from Ireland and U.K. and

2010 Toronto Art Fair & London Art Fair, represented by Blue Leaf Projects

2010 & 2009 The Gatekeeper Project II & I curated by Naomi Sex, Five Lamps Arts Festival, Dublin and St. Stephens Green in 2009

2010 Wildly Different Things, contemporary art from New York and Dublin at The Observatory, Dublin

2010 Invisible, 27 artists in 8 venues across Dublin city including Irish Museum of Modern Art, Temple Bar Gallery & Studios, Project Arts Centre and the National Gallery of Ireland.

2009 Preponderance of the Small, a Gallery 3 project at Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin

2009 Dumb Waiter curated by Fieldgate Gallery, London at James Taylor Gallery, London

2009 New London School curated by Charlie Smith Gallery, London at Galerie Schuster, Berlin


Significant Previous Exhibitions

2008 Soot from the Funnel curated by Fieldgate Gallery, London at LOKAAL01, The Netherlands

2008 Parallax curated by Richard Ducker at Fieldgate Gallery, London

2008 Walking through Walls curated by Eli Zafran at Museum of Modern Art, Tel Aviv

2008 & 2007 The Future Can Wait curated by Charlie Smith Gallery, London at Old Truman Brewery, London

2007 Sound:Space, Sound Symposium, Bracknell, UK

2006 Black: Implication Flooding, Colony Gallery, Birmingham

2004 Young Gods, Clapham Art Gallery, London

2003 Glocale, Machida Municipal Museum of Prints, Tokyo

2002 Semi-Detached, Original Print Gallery, Dublin

2001 2. World Festival of Art on Paper, Ljubljana, Slovenia

2001 Print / Estampe 2001, Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris

Residencies, Projects & Conferences

Artist Residencies

2015 & 2016-17 Irish Museum of Modern Art, Artist Residency Program, Dublin

2015 RHA Studio Residency, Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin

2014 – 2015 The Good Hatchery Artist-in-Residence, Co. Offaly, Ireland

2014 Helsinki International Artist Programme with Temple Bar Gallery & Studios, Finland

2013 - 2014 Dublin City Council Artist Residency Award, Albert Cottages

2013 Artist-in-Residence, Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris

2012 The Red Stables Studio Residency, Dublin City Council

2008 - 2011 Artist-in-Residence, Fire Station Artist Studios, Dublin

2005 Artist-in-Residence, Northumbria University, UK

2004 The Slade School of Art, London, Summer Residency Programme

2000 New York Artist Residency and Studios, NARS Foundation

1999 Artist-in-Residence, Arts Council of Ireland, Cloughleigh N.S., Co. Clare


Curatorial Projects

2013 Repetition Exhibition, curated by Margaret O’Brien with Niamh Ann Kelly as part of the Black Church Studio exhibition program. A multi-venue site-specific exhibition featuring 17 artists from the U.K. and Ireland, along with associated seminar event

2010 Invisible exhibition, co-curated by Margaret O’Brien, Oliver Dowling and John Graham. 27 artists in 8 venues across Dublin city including Irish Museum of Modern Art, Temple Bar Galleries, The Project Arts Centre, The National Gallery of Ireland and others



2013 Paradox Fine Art European Forum Biennial Conference, University of Granada, Spain.

Presenting under strand B ‘Viewing Time-based Practice through Time.’

2014 Presented at Pull, Bite, Rally international print conference event by Black Church Print Studio at National College of Art & Design

2013 Presented at Discover Research, European wide research conference hosted in Dublin in 2013 at Trinity College Dublin

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