Kelly M O’Brien is an artist whose practice explores themes of precarity, care, and repair related to climate change and biodiversity. Her current focus is on the fragility and potential climate solutions inherent in species-rich native grasslands and wildflower meadows.
She is also looking at the role of bioempathy as a pathway to climate action and repair. Through site visits and volunteer work with PlantLife UK, Moor Meadows Dartmoor, Glorious Cotswold Grasslands, and Poplar Farm near Bath, she has been learning about environmental sampling, monitoring, and management practices. From recording species counts, to analysing pollinator populations via bioacoustics, to solar grazing―the methods, equipment, and practices that environmentalists and land managers use in the field inspire her practice.
She is developing sound-based and kinetic work in response to these inputs. Her aim through this residency is to introduce live field-located data into the work that goes beyond recorded content to bring something more dynamic, empathic, and urgent to object- and installation-based art that invites audience response on nature’s behalf.