Blue Cabin Resident Keely O’Brien

Posted on Sep 22, 2022 in Blue Cabin, Events

An update on what Blue Cabin artist in residence, Keely O’Brien has been up to at the Blue Cabin. Keely has been busy creating her Dream Home Shrine and answering the Dream Home Hotline.

Blue Cabin visitors were invited to participate in a variety of events and activities during Keely’s residency from August to October of 2022.

Residency activities included:

  • A nest making open studio session on August 18th
  • Visit the Dream Home Shrine on August 21st and 28th
  • Call into the Dream Home Hotline to manifest a dream, home August 15th – October 2nd
  • Studio visit and monoprinting workshop on October 2nd

About the Dream Home Hotline and Dream Home Shrine:

Dream Home Hotline is part of a growing body of work exploring yearning for a sense of home, especially in the context of widespread housing instability. This project was sparked by a conversation with a friend, another young artist who is struggling to find affordable housing and studio space in Vancouver. She told me that she didn’t even want to dream about her “dream home,” as it seems so impossible to attain that thinking about it makes her feel hopeless. This exchange caused me to wonder: what would happen if we allowed ourselves to dream of a joyful sense of home, even in hopeless circumstances? What is risked and what is gained through this dreaming? And what would those dreams of home look like? Dream Home Hotline is an attempt to explore these questions. The project’s tension between hope and hopelessness reflects my own ambivalence, both wanting to believe and doubting that I will ever have a home that feels like home.

The  Dream Home Shrine is a place for collective dreaming and reflection on the theme of what makes us feel at home. It is an opportunity to remember a home left behind, honour a present home, manifest a future home, or simply reflect on the unique meaning of home to you.The Blue Cabin offers an important context for the creation of this work, as the structure of the cabin itself holds many histories of housing dreams and displacement. Co-created by Keely O’Brien & Marina Szijarto.

Keely O’Brien is an interdisciplinary artist based in Vancouver, BC, on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish Peoples, including the territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

Her art practice incorporates intricately handmade objects with immersive, innovative theatre creation. Devoted to a thoroughly DIY process, Keely’s work includes immersive installations, imaginative ephemera, and interactive experiences. As a community engaged arts educator Keely creates and facilitates participatory and collaborative artwork with community members and organizations. Frequently site-responsive and engaged with questions of place, home, and belonging, Keely’s work aims to celebrate the potential for creativity and community in the place and people around her.

Keely is Co-Artistic Director of experimental theatre company Popcorn Galaxies. She holds a BFA in Theatre Performance from Simon Fraser University.