Aoife OBrien


25Understanding memory and perception is central to my work. Visual perception i.e. understanding and interpreting what we see, is thought to consist of 80% memory and 20% input through the eyes. I explore this concept in my work by offering the viewer depictions or suggestions of imagery, which lead the viewer into his or her own interpretation of what is represented.

The aim of the work is to create pictorial spaces which toy with the viewer’s impulse to believe in them. The imagery I use is removed from its original environment yet remains part of a collective consciousness. The work exploits the physical qualities of paint whilst being simultaneously indebted to photography. The fictional compositions aim to hold a tension between reality and fantasy. Anonymity prevails; distancing the viewer from reality, yet the work is strangely evocative of people or places they sense they might know.
This current body of work is populated more figuratively than other previous works. Although people appear alongside one another, there is little or no interaction between them, heightening the tension felt in the work. A darker palette has forced the atmosphere to shift accordingly.

Aoife O’ Brien