Class of 2023 • Installation

Kitty O’Brien

Kitty O’Brien
National College of Art and Design (NCAD)


Graduation Year
Class of 2023


This project, entitled Tell Me, examines tensions between public and private communications, storytelling, grief, and intimacy. After becoming entranced by torn poster segments and secret scrawled messages in public spaces, I created my own posters with drawings of some of my most dear memories and plastered them around Dublin, Paris, London, and Lisbon, and persuaded friends of mine to do so in New York, Seattle, Detroit, Madrid and in various other locations across Europe and the United States. The posters had a QR code which led to a website I created, asking viewers to tell me something; a story, a memory, a secret or a lie. I gathered nearly 600 anonymous submissions in the six months since the first posters went up. I found it central to the development of the project that many people told me of their biggest heartbreaks, their greatest loves and their loudest regrets, willfully offering these fragments of their private lives. I created a space for the audience to crawl under and read these stories, to feel intimacy with each stranger whose words were heat printed inside hundreds of pleats. I wanted to create an interactive installation reminiscent of a blanket fort, and used old gathered bed clothes and hand-smocking to do so. Watching how the audience chose to interact with the work, deciding whether or not it was acceptable to sit underneath, to touch or not to touch the fabric to reveal more secrets, is for me, reminiscent of the hesitancy of public interaction with graffiti and messaging. Exploring ideas of the body interacting in space, memory, temporality and human connection, this project encompasses ideas that my practice is primarily concerned with dissecting.
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