Altered images Abigail O’Brien

Listen to Abigail talk about The Last Supper
Listen to an audio description of The Last Supper
Domesticity, everyday ritual and rites of passage are explored in Abigail O’Brien’s practice, using a variety of media including sculpture, sewing, video, sound and photography.

Abigail O’Brien’s contemporary versions of the seven sacraments were inspired by traditional patriarchal interpretations ubiquitous in Catholic liturgy. The sacrament at the centre of O’Brien’s The Last Supper, 1995, is matrimony, and in this case the protagonist depicted in the panel of seven photographs is a bride accompanied by female supporters and a baby in preparation for her wedding. A wooden table sits in front of the photographs, laid with a white tablecloth embroidered with a counting motif and a single table setting in the bride’s position. The suggestion of absence and the reference to Leonardo da Vinci’s 15th-century fresco indicated by the title, colours and staged characters point to an ambiguous future.

Born in Ireland in 1957, Abigail O’Brien currently lives and works in Dublin.

Abigail O'Brien's 'The Last Supper'
The Last Supper

Seven Cibachrome photographs, table, chair, embroidered tablecloth, dinner set
Dimensions variable
Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art Purchase, 1996