Pauline O’Connell (b. Dublin, Ireland, 1971) is an artist, researcher, curator, occasional lecturer and writer.  She studied Fine Art at DLIADT, Co. Dublin from 1988 – 1992 (Dip. Hons) and Social Practice at LSAD, LIT from 2011 – 2012 (MA 1st class Hons.).  She is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Amsterdam’s School of Heritage, Memory and Material Culture (AHM) where she is researching ‘postrural’ identity – taking an (auto) ethnographic position.

Past public projects include Drawing The Water, % For Art, Co. Kerry; Regeneration, % For Art, Co. Sligo in collaboration with Martina Coyle and Hillary Gilligan; The Plain of Silver Wood, % For Art, Co. Kilkenny; The Orchard, % For Art, Waterford.  Current projects include: Above The Snowline, Beating the Bounds and The Community Field.

Recent exhibitions include Lacuna 04 at Taylor Galleries Dublin (2017), Our Journey to Here at Visual Centre for Contemporary Art, Carlow (2016) and a touring exhibition Art and Agriculture II at Leitrim Sculpture Centre Gallery travelling to Roscommon Arts Centre (2015).

Recently accolades include a Bursary from University College Cork and the 49th Conference of Irish Geographers for Art and Geography, May 2017; a nomination by Irish Museum of Modern Art and CREATE Ireland for an Artist Residency with Sweetwater Foundation and Hyde Park Art Center Chicago 2017 (shortlisted).

O’Connell works between County Kilkenny, Ireland and Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Personal Details
Date of birth14/1/1971
Education1983 -1988 Loreto Convent, Kilkenny
1988 - 1993 Dun Laoghaire College of Art & Design (DLIADT), Co. Dublin
2011- 2012 Limerick School of Art Design & Technology, LIT
2016 – 2020 PhD candidate University of Amsterdam
Qualifications1988 - 1989 NCEA Foundation Studies (NCEA Certificate)
1989 -1993 NCEA Diploma in Fine Art - Mixed Media (NCEA Diploma- Merit)
2011- 2012 MA Social Practice & The Creative Environment, Limerick School of Art Design & Technology (awarded 1st Class Honors Degree by LIT)
Irish Artist Tax Exemption since 1997, Member of The Visual Artists Ireland, CREATE; National Development Agency for Collaborative Art, Cultural Advisor - Castlewarren Cultural Development Group since 2012.
Professional Experience
2016-2015Our Journey To Here project developed and co-curated by Pauline O’Connell in collaboration with County Carlow Women’s Network and VISUAL, supported by CCWN, Carlow County Council Arts Office and VISUAL Oct.’15 - Jan. ’16, invited
2015Invited curator, OAK, Killenure Castle, Co. Tipperary, invited
2014Independent Evaluator Contemporary Self Portraits Project 2012 – 2014, project partners include the National College of Art & Design (Dublin, Ireland), Bildmuseet (Umeå, Sweden), the Tallinn Academy of Arts (Estonia) and the International Summer School of Photography (ISSP, Riga, Latvia). The project was coordinated by the Arts Academy of Turku University of Applied Sciences and is funded by the EU Culture Programme
2013CSP Mid-Term Independent Evaluation; invited by NCAD to moderate, give feedback on mid-term Contemporary Self Portrait projects, make recommendations and highlight gaps in terms of pedagogical methodologies, workshop construction, participant involvement and hosting a workshop – how to formulate a shared evaluation criteria.
2006Invited joint curator with Dr. Anne Price Owen: Sculpture at Kells, Co. Kilkenny and Strata Florida Abbey, Wales
1996-2011Curator / tutor / initiator of Master Classes & Professional Development for artists at The Fire Station Artists’ Studios, Dublin
1997Inner Art coordinator, technician - temporary site specific projects within Dublin’s North Inner City area
1994-1995The Sculptors Society of Ireland, (VAI) Board of Directors
Random Access; committee member
1993-1996Sculpture in Context; committee member, I initiated & coordinated sculpture exhibitions in Fernhill Gardens, Malahide Castle Demesne, The Conrad Hotel
1993-1994‘Siolru’, National Maternity Hospital Centenary Arts Programme, Committee Member; I initiated & coordinated the first Arts & Health, (site-responsive) project in Ireland within the hospital to co-inside with the Centenary celebrations
Teaching Employment
2013St. Patrick's College, DCU, Drumcondra, B. Ed. 1st yr., term 1 (Art Department)
2002-2006M.Ed., Post Graduate and B. Ed. 1st, 2nd, 3rd yr. art lecturer.
2009-presentKilkenny School Project, ‘Arts For All’ invited artist in the classroom
2013,’10 & ‘09Tallaght Children’s Festival, artist in residence
2008-2009Busy Bees Montessori, art facilitator / educator
2007Grass Roots Creche, summer art facilitator / early yrs. art education
2001 & 2002Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art Design & Technology, Co
Dublin, 2nd yr. Diploma Access & Foundation students - lecturer in sculpture
20001st yr. Diploma Access students - lecturer in sculpture
1996Webster University, Vienna, Viennese Actionism module
1995-2002Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery, Dublin - outreach children’s art facilitator: designing, coordinating and hosting workshops for children of all ages in the gallery on ‘Open Family Days’; designing specific workshops to suit particular age groups in relation to singular art works and / or gallery exhibitions in an outreach capacity.
Selected Residencies / Symposia
2015‘Art and Agriculture II', The Milk Well and The Tea Well, Leitrim Sculpture Centre, Manorhamilton, 6 week research residency curated by Sean O'Reilly and Linda Shevlin funded by the Arts Council/ An Chomhairle Ealaionn 
2013Fire Station Artists Studios, 1 month Digital Support Residency (Sept.)
2012Waterwheel Symposium International Water Day, International interactive web event
1999, ‘94, ‘01The Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Co. Monaghan, 3 week residencies respectively
1997Umha Aois, Celebrating The Bronze Age – Dublin Symposium
1995The Cross Roads Symposium Roscommon, Ireland, 1 month residency
% for Art Selected Public Art Commissions
2011-2012Drawing The Water Milltown, Co. Kerry
20061% for Art Commission for Scoile Mide, Bayside, Co. Dublin, shortlisted
20041% for Art Commission for Castlerea, shortlisted
1% for Art Commission for Castlebar, shortlisted
20021% for Art Commission for Bagnelstown Regeneration, shortlisted
2001-2002The Plain of Silver Wood Millennium Park, Freshford, Co. Kilkenny
1999-2000Regeneration Knoxspark, Co.Sligo in collaboration with Martina Coyle & Hilary Gilligan
1998-1999The Orchard part of “Convergence”, Waterford Public Art
1996100 Years Of Austrian Cinema Kartnerstrasse, public art commission invited by The Vienna Chamber of Commerce
Selected Awards
2015The Arts Council of Ireland AIC Award, Phase 2 managed by CREATE
Arts Bursary Award, Beating The Bounds, Kilkenny County Council 2015
Kilkenny County Council, Arts Act Grant
2014Limerick City of Culture 2014 – The Kieran Meagher Legacy Award, (shortlisted)
‘Landscape and Memory’, LEADER Rural Development Programme
2013The Arts Council of Ireland Artist in the Community Scheme R & D Award with mentoring from Dr. Iain Biggs
2002Kilkenny County Council, Arts Act Grant
2000Department of Foreign Affairs, Cultural Relations Committee Exhibitions Award, New York
1999The Arts Council of Ireland - Arts Access Award in collaboration with St. Joseph’s School for Visually Impaired
The Arts Council of Ireland - Artists In Schools Award with St. Patrick’s Girls National School, Ringsend, Dublin
The Arts Council of Ireland - Studio Assistance Grant
Selected Exhibitions
Drawing The Water HDV screening, University of Dundee, Scotland
Jan. – Apr.Our Journey To Here, exhibition; VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art, Carlow; collaborative project and exhibition developed and co-curated by Pauline O’Connell with County Carlow Women’s Network.
Farming and Country Life 1916-2016 Teagasc commemorative exhibition Athenry, Co. Galway (invited by Dr. Deirdre O 'Mahony).
2015The Milk Well and The Tea Well, exhibition; Leitrim Sculpture Centre Gallery (July 25th – Aug. 6th) touring to Roscommon Arts Centre (Aug 15th - Sept. 26th); a socially engaged installation, text, photography and audio project
OAK, exhibition; Dundrum Co. Tipperary, invited
PRAXIS, exhibition; Limerick School of Art & Design MA-SPACE
2011Boyle Arts Festival, exhibition; Co. Roscommon, invited
2008Fis 2008, exhibition; Liverpool, to co-inside with the Capital of Culture, invited
2005Crawford 5, exhibition; Crawford Municipal Art Gallery, Cork, selected by Iwona Blazwick (Whitechapel)
2003Voice, exhibition; Linenhall Arts Centre, Co. Mayo - 6 contemporary artists & at the Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray, Co. Wicklow
2001Salon 2001, exhibition; Ecole Des Beaux Arts, Paris, invited by Sculptors Society of Ireland, September
2000Samhain Swing, exhibition; APT Gallery, London, one night art event November, invited
Delicate Tissue, exhibition; M.Y. Art Prospects, Chelsea, New York, invited by Jennifer Kotter
Selected Socially Engaged + Collaborative Projects
The Weather Reports, a ‘psycho-meteorology’ project, collating and translating vernacular testimonies that distribute weather
The Community Field cultural project, Castlewarren, Co. Kilkenny
2015-2017Beating The Bounds, project; ongoing socially engaged community boundary project.
2016Above The Snowline, 2020 Capital of Culture second round bid, invited project by Three Sisters bid team (shortlisted)
2014Landscape and Memory, project; a socially engaged community photographic project with Castlewarren Community Development Group
2012Heave-Ho, Pub Pulling League project; event 9.12.12 12 + 28.8.16 held in
The Community Field, Castlewarren, Co. Kilkenny
Heave-Ho, Invitation to Community upland region of N.E. Co. Kilkenny
Drawing The Water Spout Lane, Milltown, Co. Kerry
2001 - 2002The Plain of Silver Wood Millennium Park, Freshford, Co. Kilkenny
1999 - 2000Regeneration Knoxspark, Co.Sligo - in collaboration with artists Martina Coyle & Hilary Gilligan
Conference papers / presentations
Being in Place: The Highs and Lows of Situated Practices, University of Dundee, Scotland 24th - 25 November, 2016 (selected for oral presentation)
SeptemberThe Ecology of Community OPEN FIELDS Exhibition and Conference, RIXC Art Science Festival, Riga, Latvia September 29 – October 1, 2016 (selected for oral presentation).
JuneThe Void of the Jug ‘alterRurality3’, Letterfrack Co. Galway, ‘Culture, Farming and Habitat – New (selected for oral presentation)
2005“Defining space – exploring the private & public domain”, FSAS conference
2003“The Citizen Artist, are you a professional jaywalker, crossing from public art to the studio and back again”, FSAS conference, Liberty Hall, Dublin 1.
2012Hypomnemata, A Memory Trace,
Cassagh Press ISBN 978–0–9547955–2–8
2012Drawing The Water, compilation HDV and book,
public access - Kerry County Library.
Living on the Spatial Edge of “I” and “WE” 2012
2010Fire Station Artists’ Studios Workshops & Master Classes 1998 – 2008, Ten Years; a retrospective
ISBN 978-0-9538055-7-0
Recent published articles about my work
2014“Incorrigibly plural”? Rural Lifeworlds Between Concept and Experience” Iain Biggs in Canadian Journal for Irish Studies, Vol. 38, Nos. 1+2 (2014). Special issue, “Text and Beyond Text: New Visual, Material, and Spatial Perspectives in Irish Studies” © 2015 CJIS.
ForthcomingThe Ecology of Community Acoustic Space Journal, No 17, OPEN FIELDS- proceedings from Open Fields Conference, Riga Latvia, selected conference presentation 29 Sept. - 1 Oct. 2016
Myopic and hyperopic lifeworlds ‘The Possibilities of Place’ - an exhibition by ‘The 9 Stones Artists’ at Visual Centre for Contemporary Art, 02 July - 16 October, Carlow, Ireland (commissioned text)
Rural lifeworlds; an artistic practice of scratching the surface, tilting mirrors and place-making in rural contexts 2015 (invited text). O’Connell, P., (2013) ‘Agri – Culture, Ruminations on a Field’, In Lennon, M. & Taylor, S., (2013) (eds.) ENGAGE, published by Limerick Institute of Technology, Ireland (invited text).
O’Connell, P., (2014) ‘Composite Curs’, in Erävaara, T. (2014) Contemporary Self Portraits (ed.) published by Turku University of Applied Sciences, Finland, (commissioned text).
Erävaara, T. (ed.) (2014) Contemporary Self Portraits, Evaluation by Pauline O’Connell, published by Turku University of Applied Sciences, Finland, (commissioned report), `Composit Curs’ invited essay as part of final publication (pending publication).