Class of 2023 • Film

Oonagh O’Brien

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


Graduation Year
Class of 2023


This project was a means of visually articulating thoughts that I find difficult to share with others. Through animation sequences, visual and musical motifs, I aim to convey a sense of shame, isolation, and guilt that we all experience (or I'm projecting), but goes unacknowledged. The project is entirely auto-ethnographic; my primary source of narrative material was drawn from a collection of video diary entries I began recording in 2021.My intention of prioritising process and experimentation over outcome remained throughout this project. I allowed myself to discover some techniques that led me towards an outcome I couldn't have imagined. This approach was a breath of fresh air; it made me truly appreciate creating again. I created this entire project in an electrical unit closet in college, which I hope to use as an exhibition space at the graduate exhibition. I chose to use this closet as an exhibition space because it supports an architectural atmosphere that influenced my process and enforces the central themes. I would have approached my work differently if I were working in a different space.My years of studying in NCAD allowed me to discover my interests in experimental animation and music. I am drawn to the nature of movement and sound, and I would like to further explore how they can both be depicted through means of translation and elaboration. Going forward, I want to focus on environmental sound, and sound we don't dedicate much thought or consideration towards.Undergoing this project has also allowed me to consider my place in the creative world. I have been contemplating the nature of design over the past few months in particular, and I have come to the realisation that I am not a designer. Design serves a sense of purpose that is much larger than my creative intentions. I believe that considering oneself as a designer upholds a sense of responsibility. Part of me believes that rejecting the label of 'designer' is an act of selfishness.Rather than considering myself as an artist or designer, I prefer to acknowledge myself as a creative. I feel that over the past four years of studying Moving Image Design at NCAD, I have neither achieved artist nor designer status. I believe that attaining such status requires a profound understanding of what it means to be an artist or designer. I think that arriving at such conclusions so early would limit my perceptions of both disciplines. I hope to further discover the elusive qualities of art and design as I continue my creative journey. I am content with considering myself a 'creative' because that journey may take a lifetime.​​​​​​​
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