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Lily’s practice deals with the issue of sustaining an art practice while experiencing burn out. Through the use of sculpture and text, the work questions the artist’s role in perpetuating hyperproductivity and the all-consuming guilt when one is considered unproductive. It explores the performance of productivity’s ability to drain one’s creative resources and the impact of equating your self-worth to your efficiency. Lily’s research draws from reality tv, mailing lists, fiction and unfinished artworks to gather potential strategies against burnout.

Lily O’Shea (b. 1997) is a visual artist and writer based in Galway concerned with political questions surrounding the contemporary labourer. Lily’s work utilizes performance, sculpture, and text to explore the effects of hyper-productivity and its ability to drain one’s creative resources.

Lily recently completed an associate membership with Sample-Studios, Cork (2021); a graduate residency at Backwater Artists Group Cork (2020); a two-month residency at 126 Artist-Run Gallery, Galway (2021); and a desk research residency at The Guesthouse Project, Cork (2020). Recent solo exhibitions include slow puncture, Sample-studios, curated by Ali O’Shea, Lord Mayor’s Pavilion, Cork (2021). Group exhibitions include; ‘A Caring Matter’, Dublin Art Book Fair 2022, curated by Rosie Lynch, Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, Dublin (2022); host/ghost, Rebound Arts Festival, group exhibition curated by Aoife Hayes and Glenn Dunlea, Cork (2022); ‘a passive house’, presentation with Alison O’Shea at Rebel Reads, Cork (2021), MART Annual Awards Show, Dublin (2021); a passive house, a publication initiated by Cork based curator Ali O’Shea involving artists Fiona Kelly, Dori O’Connell, Mary O’Leary and Lily O’Shea (2020); Villa the End, Berlin Gallery Weekend, Charlottenburg, Germany (2019). Recent writing include; ‘Beyond Tokenism’, featured in Genuinely Seeking publication edited by Rachel Botha, Bloomers (2022); ‘foggy’ a text featured on The Paper (2021); ‘Laggard’, a text featured on The Paper (2021); ‘Collaborative Survival in Precarious Times’, a text featured in Hypertext, Bloomers Magazine, (2020). Lily has recently received the Creative Practitioner Bursary from the Galway City Council and has an upcoming residency at Leitrim Sculpture Centre.

Past Residencies


Landscape, Ecology & Environment Research Residencies