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Joe O'Brien

I am an artist working with photography, video, text and spoken word.

My practice has been informed by our longing for happiness when experiencing loneliness and ‘aloneness’, ‘aloneness’ being a form of solitude derived from neutral emotion. The work has existential qualities, yet I try to enlighten the prevailing tenderness rooted in our sorrows. Happiness indeed exists if we have the capacity to feel loneliness; this is one thing I encourage us all to strive for. Although the notion of the absurd also becomes present within the work, I try to deliver heartfelt decency through the imagery, writing and voice.

The photographs of figures within both urban and natural spaces deal with the longing for human connection which happiness calls for. This is informed from personal struggles of loneliness expressed through both text and the spoken components of the videos. The verge between land and water become important spaces in exploring our contemplative nature. This is particularly valuable for the meditative spoken word videos expressing loneliness. Each medium used is in effort to encourage our vulnerability, in order to counter loneliness. All my work aims to provoke compassion for each other. It attempts to remind us happiness is in reach even as we struggle. Compassion is particularly needed now amidst the greatest crisis we currently face.