Margaret O’Brien works with immersive installation using a combination of sculpture, live sound, light, moving image and kinetics. Her approach is experimental and explores ideas of failure through artworks that operate within a live state of malfunction or breakdown.
Originally from Co. Clare, Ireland, O’Brien earned a BA at Limerick School of Art, and an MFA at the Slade School of Art, London. Here she studied under artists such as Phyllida Barlow, Simon Starling, Tim Head and Liz Rhodes. She went on to complete an MPhil and PhD at Trinity College Dublin.
O’Brien has won significant public funding for her work from state bodies such as the Arts Council of Ireland, the Arts and Humanities Research Board UK, and the Irish Research Council. She has participated in numerous international artist residencies including Irish Museum of Modern Art; Helsinki International Artist Programme with Temple Bar Gallery & Studios, Dublin; and Centre Cultural Irlandais, Paris. Her work is held in public collections including the Arts Council of Ireland; Allied Irish Bank; GE Aviation; and AXA Insurance.
A former lecturer in fine art at Crawford College of Art, Cork, O’Brien is currently a lecturer in fine art at National College of Art & Design, Dublin. She is based in Liverpool, UK where she lives with her partner and child.