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01/05/2022 - 28/07/2022

Martina O’Brien’s practice explores links between people, nature and technology, bound by an interest in perceptions of time, the earth sciences and practices of divination. Her projects are typically developed through conversations and engagement with communities of interest, including community-based organisations, citizen scientists, academics and members of the scientific community. She realises her ideas through various media including moving image, print-making, installation and drawing and mainly presents her work in galleries in the form of exhibitions, at video screening events, and through giving public artist talks.

Over several years, her work has examined technologies of meteorological measure from weather recording to climate modelling. Through these explorations, she considers how computational ways of seeing affect our possibilities for being, acting and thinking in the world.

Similarly, she has explored ideas of remoteness, technologised vision and unbreachable distance in relation to the deep ocean floor. Exploring the scientific methods used to access and gather research on life on the sea bed, and the resulting information brought to the surface, she considers the paradox of an ecosystem at once highly surveilled, extraordinarily biodiverse and increasingly precarious.

More recently, her work has been preoccupied by complex histories and prospective futures of extractivism both on the ocean floor and on land. Her interest here circulates around ideas of territory, geology classification and environmental sensing. It is this research that she hopes to expand upon during the Land, Ecology and Environment Research Residency in Leitrim Sculpture Centre.

Martina O’Brien

Visual artist Martina O’Brien is UCD Parity Studios Irish Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences inaugural (iCRAG) Artist in Residence (2020/22). Recent solo exhibitions include Quotidian, Illuminations, NUI Maynooth (2019/20) and At Some Distance in the Direction Indicated, Butler Gallery (2018). Recent group exhibitions include SHUL, South Tipperary Arts Centre (2021); New Era, Solstice Arts Centre (2020); Datami, BOZAR, Brussels and Italy, (2019/20) and Tactical Magic,TULCA (2019). Recent residencies include Science Gallery Dublin Rapid Residency (2020); European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, UK (2019); Monitoring Changes in Submarine Canyon Coral Habitats Marine Expedition, N.E. Atlantic abroad the RV Celtic Explorer, in association with UCD Parity Studios and iCRAG (2019) and EUCIDA Digital Artist in Residence, Espace Multimédia Gantner, France (2018). Recent awards include Arts Council Visual Arts Project Awards (2022/17); Arts Council Visual Arts Bursaries (2021/19); Creative Ireland Bursary Awards (2021/18); Kildare CoCo Arts Awards (2020/19/17/16) and Arts Council Travel and Training Awards (2019/17). She is a recent member of Temple Bar Gallery + Studios (2019/20) and recipient of a project commission from the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, Italy (2019).

Past Residencies


Landscape, Ecology & Environment Research Residencies