Michelle O'Brien



Up at the ranch in our own private Idaho
(with a thousand hippy ravers for Esthetic Evolution Festival)

San Francisco

Californian sunshine, fine Mexican street food, trams, locally-brewed IPAs and the ghosts of eras gone by.
48 hours exploring the street culture of The Mission and Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco.

Warm beer, cold women

The final days of winter in Kreuzberg, Berlin.

Christmas in Kep

A very Buddhist Christmas in the sleepy seaside town of Kep, Cambodia.

Last Rays of Sun

A weekend exploring the nooks and crannies of Oslo, catching the last rays of sun (and a moon) before the long Norwegian winter sets in.


And last but not least, a memorial for the 92 killed in Oslo and Utøya’s 2011 terrorist attacks:
“…og storst av alt er kjærlighetenand” [translation: …love conquers all]

Sepia glory

At the Neukölln Flowmarkt today I came across a worn old photo album. Inside were pages and pages of tiny square photos from what looked like the 1930s-60s, showing the history of a middle class German family in all its sepia glory – from weddings, birthdays and Christmases, to children playing, fancy dress parties and drunken celebrations. Most of the photos were not high quality but the images gave me an intense feelings of nostalgia and intimacy. How did these precious memories end up for sale at a flea market? The images below – simple snapshots from a Sunday stroll – were inspired by this old album.


Where the sweet birds sang

“That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.”
— William Shakespeare (1609)


Last weekend I took photos for Visualized Berlin, a conference bringing together some of Europe’s most innovative information designers and data artists. Here are a few photos from this very engaging event.

Exercise in Portraiture

This weekend I photographed Berlin’s Visualized conference on information design and data visualisation. I took the opportunity to take portraits of the participants and organisers, an eclectic group of Germany’s most innovative information designers and data artists. The backdrop to these portraits is a gorgeous work from Raban Ruddigkeit’s Ramix exhibition. Portraiture is an area of photography I have not explored much before, but I’m now thinking of ways I can further experiment with this form.

Berlin Art Hack

After a summer hiatus in Sydney and Vancouver, I was happy to spend my first weekend back in Berlin reacquainting myself with the city’s thriving art scene at Art Hack Day Berlin and its culminating exhibition Going Dark, hosted by the awesome guys from LEAP and co-presented by transmediale.

It was great to see so many members of Berlin’s art community out in force to support this event (over 500 I would guess), showcasing 20 works from 50 artists, all on the theme ‘Going Dark’. My favourite works were of the participatory variety, including the DARK LEAKS two-part installation where audience members typed their darkest secrets onto a computer on one side of the exhibition, whilst a tiny mechanical duck-like creature announced these (often bleak) confessions in a monotonous English accent in another room. Jeremy Bailey’s performative intervention, in which he auctioned off 5 of the exhibition artists’ Facebook profiles, was also a highlight.

The only downside to the evening was the fact I broke my 10 year McDonald’s fast by eating part of Kim Asendorf’s installation THERE WILL BE BURGERS. I’m disgusted in myself and can’t get the taste out of my mouth. I guess I was swept away in the victorious moment the installation was liberated from the plinth to the people. But never again.

I’m looking forward to seeing the Berlin Art Hack concept expanded for its next incarnation as part of transmediale in Feb 2014. Berlin: it’s so great to be back!

Ghosts Past: Part I

Randwick Primary School.

A Week in Crete

A well-needed dose of Mediterranean sunshine and ocean after the long Berlin winter.


My 32 hour journey from Pflügerstrasse, Berlin to Boyce Rd. Maroubra, Sydney (via London, Singapore and a lot of bad plane food).

Frühling in Görli

The first real day of Spring, and Kreuzbergers descend on Görlitzer Park to celebrate.

It’s Bigger Than

A wintery Sunday of great music and a friendly crowd at Prince Charles, Berlin. Thanks to Dan and Lisa from It’s Bigger Than for organising such a fun event – and even better a fundraiser for Save the Children‘s Syria Appeal.

Ode to Winter

There’s no denying Berlin’s winter is long and hard. From October until April there is an almost total lack of sun, limited hours of daylight, constant below zero temperatures, and a colour palate limited to 50 shades of grey. Some days it feels like winter will never end. But it will, and it does – there is light at the end of the tunnel. So here is an Ode to Winter: grim, bleak, but also full of fragile beauty. A time for hibernation and reflection, shedding of old skins, and preparation for the rebirth of spring.

Weddingmarkt Kunst & Kulturmarkt

Weddingmarkt Arts & Culture Market at SUPERMARKT, Wedding.

East Side Gallery Protest

“Wowereit, das Denkmal bleibt!”
East Side Gallery Demonstration – Berlin, 3 March 2013

Polish fog

Fog, Polish dumplings, flavoured vodka, pigeons & stylish seniors. A wintery weekend roaming the streets of Krakow.

Danish Fairytales

A wintery trip to Copenhagen to visit my favourite Dane.

Herbst in Reuterkiez

It’s a quiet Sunday morning in Neukölln and there’s a sense of impending hibernation in the air. The clock turned back last night and I need gloves for the first time to keep feeling in my fingers. As the sun shines rays of fading warmth and the golden leaves continue their relentless fall, we prepare ourselves psychologically for the long winter months ahead.

Summer in Whistler

A mid-summer weekend in Whistler.

Out and Proud

Vancouver out in all its colours for the 2012 Pride Parade.


Vancouver Folk Festival

Three days of great music, great crowd and even better sunsets at Jericho Beach for the Vancouver Folk Music Festival.