LOTS OF FUN WITH
This multi-year artwork – which feeds off and is nourished by James Joyce’s final book, the 628-page novel Finnegans Wake – yokes together my twinning interests of the visual and the verbal, the illustrative and the intellectual. Using coloured words as scaffolding, the artwork is both abstract and representational.
LOTS OF FUN WITH FINNEGANS WAKE has been exhibited in Antwerp, Hong Kong, Montreal, New York, and Toronto, and been published by journals in Canada, England, Ireland, Israel, and the U.S.
INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITIONS OF
LOTS OF FUN WITH FINNEGANS WAKE
INTERNATIONAL PUBLICATIONS AND REVIEWS OF
LOTS OF FUN WITH FINNEGANS WAKE
Lida Literary Magazine Issue 2 (Canada)
“LOTS OF FUN WITH FINNEGANS WAKE”
2 pages: 209 - 210
The Brooklyn Review Fall 2020 (U.S.)
Artist statement and 8 pages: 7 - 10, 213 - 216
Sein und Werden Summer 2020 (U.K.)
“From Lots Of Fun With Finnegans Wake”
Artist statement and 1 page: 75
Thorn Literary Magazine Volume 1, Issue 4 (U.S.)
“Lots Of Fun With Finnegans Wake”
Artist statement and 8 pages: 203 - 204, 323 - 324, 360 - 363
The Raw Art Review Fall (U.S.).
1 page: 30
Art / Research International Volume 3, Issue 2 (Canada).
“Drawing Upon Finnegans Wake.”
3,000-word essay and 8 pages: 134 – 41
The Globe and Mail June 16 (Canada).
“Taking apart James Joyce’s final novel Finnegans Wake.”
4 pages: 15, 151, 203, 204
The Fortnightly Review (England).
“Pages from ‘Lots Of Fun With Finnegans Wake’.”
7 pages: 37, 38, 67 – 72
HCE Review Volume 11, Issue 11 (Ireland).
“Page from LOTS OF FUN WITH FINNEGANS WAKE.”
1 page: 151
The Ilanot Review Volume 15 (Israel).
“Come Into The Pictures: A Graphic Reconfiguring of Finnegans Wake.”
3 pages: 19, 59, 197
Silver Streams Issue 3 (Ireland).
“Page from LOTS OF FUN WITH FINNEGANS WAKE.”
1 page: 34
World Literature Today (U.S.).
“Come into the Pictures: James Joyce, Illustrated.”
8 pages: 201 – 08
James Joyce Quarterly Volume 53, Number 1-2 (U. S.). Cover image.
1 page: 200
TESTIMONIALS, AND COMMENTARY
“A garden of delights.”
TIM CONLEY IS THE GRADUATE PROGRAM DIRECTOR OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE AT BROCK UNIVERSITY, ST. CATHARINES, ONTARIO. IN 2016 HE HELD THE JAMES M. FLAHERTY VISITING PROFESSORSHIP AT TRINITY COLLEGE, DUBLIN.
“O’Brien does not represent an organized, collective movement, instead having much in common with art brut: the kind of work produced by solitary figures on the margins of the institutions and markets of the art world, thus bearing witness to another kind of freedom.”
DAVID SPURR IS PROFESSOR EMERITUS AT THE UNIVERSITÉ DE GENÈVE, SWITZERLAND. HIS BOOKS INCLUDE ARCHITECTURE AND MODERN LITERATURE (2012) AND JOYCE AND THE SCENE OF MODERNITY (2002).
“… stunning and constantly shifting ingenuity … O’Brien’s sinuous and insinuating text babbles like a brook, flows like a stream, trickles and pools like something spilled and sticky.”
GARRY LEONARD IS A PROFESSOR IN THE ENGLISH DEPARTMENT, AND A MEMBER OF THE FACULTY OF THE INNIS GRADUATE SCHOOL IN CINEMA, AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO. HIS BOOKS INCLUDE READING DUBLINERS AGAIN: A LACANIAN PERSPECTIVE (1993).
“What a delight to find such an astute defender of the radical aspiration in art! It is increasing hard to find people who love, and take pleasure in art of purposeful difficulty. You provide an exquisite example of the textual play that nearly every phrase in the Wake animates! Wonderful!”
R. BRUCE ELDER, FRSC, IS A FILMMAKER, WRITER, AND PROFESSOR IN THE SCHOOL OF IMAGE ARTS & GRADUATE PROGRAM IN COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE, RYERSON UNIVERSITY, TORONTO.
“A subtle symbiosis of simplicity and difficulty … mesmerizing … not mere illustrations of Finnegans Wake, but an interaction of the creator with the text, and a dialogue between them.”
TAMAR GELASHVILI IS ASSISTANT PROFESSOR AT IVANEJAVAKHISHVILI TBILISI STATE UNIVERSITY IN TBILISI, GEORGIA. SHE HAS PUBLISHED PAPERS ON LEWIS CARROLL, T. S. ELIOT, AND SHAKESPEARE IN FINNEGANS WAKE.
“Joyce’s universe is vividly presented, and Peter O’Brien’s artwork adds yet more illustrative and intellectual layers onto this rich, inclusive, varied, and variable book.”
CONGRONG DAI IS A PROFESSOR IN THE DEPARTMENT OF CHINESE LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE AT FUDAN UNIVERSITY, SHANGHAI AND CO-DIRECTOR OF THE CONFUCIUS INSTITUTE FOR SCOTLAND, UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH. HER TRANSLATION OF BOOK I OF FINNEGANS WAKE WAS AWARDED CHINA’S INFLUENTIAL BOOK OF 2012 AWARD.
“Absorbing and marvelous … magma flows of letter and daub.”
SARAT MAHARAJ IS PROFESSOR OF VISUAL ART AND KNOWLEDGE SYSTEMS AT MALMO ART ACADEMY, SWEDEN. HIS CURATORIAL OBJECTS HAVE BEEN EXHIBITED AT THE SAO PAULO BIENNALE AND DOCUMENTA (KASSEL).
“Une sorte de symphonie chaotique, comme le ferait un musicien capable de jouer sur différents instruments des notes, des tempos, des mélodies et des sons bizarres à la fois.”
JOSEPH BRANCO IS A QUEBEC-BASED ARTIST. HIS WORKS ARE IN THE COLLECTIONS OF THE MUSEE NATIONAL DES BEAUX-ARTS DU QUEBEC, LE MUSEED’ART CONTEMPORAIN DE MONTREAL, AND THE MUSEE REGIONAL DE RIMOUSKI.
“Courageous and exciting.”
JIM SHEDDEN IS A PUBLISHER, CURATOR, FIMLMAKER, ARTS PROGRAMMER, AND WRITER. BASED IN TORONTO, HE IS WORKING ON AN EXHIBITION INSPIRED BY HOME MOVIES, AND A BOOK INSPIRED BY CANADIAN AVANT-GARDE CINEMA.
“Finnegans Wake refuses to stay in its box and, as O’Brien demonstrates, it lures brave, brilliant accomplices dedicated to giving the book wings.”
DENIS BOYLES IS A JOURNALIST, EDITOR, AND AUTHOR, BASED IN FRANCE. HIS BOOKS INCLUDE EVERYTHING EXPLAINED THAT IS EXPLAINABLE: ON THE CREATION OF THE ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA’S CELEBRATED 11TH EDITION (2017).
“Joyce needed only words, but struggled to leave the space of his text alone. In glorious colour, Peter O’Brien here extends this principle and packs material into every spare space.”
FINN FORDHAM IS A PROFESSOR IN 20TH CENTURY LITERATURE AT ROYAL HOLLOWAY, UNIVERSITY OF LONDON. HE CO-EDITED AND WROTE THE INTRODUCTION FOR THE OXFORD WORLD’S CLASSICS EDITION OF FINNEGANS WAKE (2012).
“… the labor and skill and imagination that went into taking the words of the Wake and transforming them into something so wildly and beautifully new gives it a more intense depth than I’ve seen in any other painting or visual art. What more can I say, except thank you, Peter O’Brien, for this treasure.”
MARGOT NORRIS IS CHANCELLOR’S PROFESSOR EMERITA AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, IRVINE. HER PUBLICATIONS INCLUDE THE VALUE OF JAMES JOYCE (2016).
“Part homage, part autopsy, ‘The echo is where’ sees O’Brien interpolating his own researches and ruminations into the pages of Joyce’s monumental literary folly.”
BETTY ANN JORDAN IS A TORONTO-BASED ARTS COMMENTATOR AND CULTURAL TOUR MAVEN. SHE WAS AN EDITOR AT CANADIAN ART AND CURRENTLY GIVES SEMINARS THROUGH CLASSICAL PURSUITS.
“O’Brien elaborates on and questions Finnegans Wake as an ‘unreadable’ book and calls it ‘communist’ … He is right – and he does something about it: he puts into practice a counter strategy. If the book is unreadable, it may be ‘writeable.’ ”
GERMAN-IRISH ART HISTORIAN CHRISTA-MARIA LERM HAYES IS PROFESSOR OF MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY ART HISTORY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF AMSTERDAM. SHE HAS CURATED EXHIBITIONS IN IRELAND, SOUTH KOREA, RUSSIA, FRANCE, AND THE NETHERLANDS.
“Evocative of the traditional Persian art of illuminated manuscripts … O’Brien’s illustrative interpretations highlight and draw out Joyce’s idiosyncratic and multilayered words.”
AKRAM PADRAMNIA IS AN IRANIAN-CANADIAN WRITER AND TRANSLATOR. SHE IS TRANSLATING JAMES JOYCE’S ULYSSES INTO PERSIAN, AND SHE HAS WRITTEN FOUR NOVELS IN PERSIAN.
“A colorful landscape … O’Brien helps us see the text … teaches us a new approach to reading.”
YAELI GREENBLATT TEACHES AT THE HEBREW UNIVERSITY OF JERUSALEM. SHE WORKS ON VISUAL ART INSPIRED BY FINNEGANS WAKE.
“On the walls … were the jaw-dropping creations of Peter O’Brien, who had taken the pages of … Finnegans Wake and artfully filled them with colourful annotations and illustrations … I told him I’d love to have an entire book of this. He shared with me a sneak preview of some of the other pages and they are incredible.”
PETER QUADRINO RUNS THE “FINNEGANS, WAKE!” BLOG DEVOTED TO FINNEGANS WAKE AND THE HOMEPAGE FOR THE FINNEGANS WAKE READING GROUP OF AUSTIN, TEXAS.
“Wonderful project … Peter O’Brien fa cose fantastiche …”
UNIVERSITY LIBRARY OF PAVIA, ITALY, FOUNDED IN 1778.