Chris O'Brien - The Cop Shop

TarraWarra Museum of Art

Concerned with representing domestic dwellings in varying states of decay, O'Brien anthropomorphises these homes and populates them with characters and new narratives.

Chris O’Brien The Cop Shop 2021 (video still) Courtesy of the artist and Arts Project Australia, Melbourne Chris O’Brien The Cop Shop 2021 (video still) Courtesy of the artist and Arts Project Australia, Melbourne Chris O’Brien in the Arts Project Australia studio in 2019
Duration
12 minutes

While trying to move his federation period home to its new location at TarraWarra, Busta and his team at Healsville Police Station investigate an aggravated burglary at the local Post Office.

A suspect is apprehended, interrogated, and charged with the crime, but eventually escapes. At least Police Constables Mudd and George Garfield were able to deal with a supernatural threat along the way, and Busta’s house lands on its new location.

Chris O’Brien’s ‘The Cop Shop’ follows the police procedural format of his favourite television shows Rush and The Bill. Driven by nostalgia for a different era of TV, O’Brien’s comedic spin-off mimics the generic plot points of these shows without ever getting stuck in the weeds.

About the Artist

Chris O’Brien is a multi-disciplinary artist who works across painting, printmaking, sculpture, digital art, and artist zines. His short-form graphic novels artist videos bring together many aspects of his practice, and he is currently writing a never-ending urban story on his passion for old houses located in Melbourne and surrounds.

Concerned with representing domestic dwellings in varying states of decay, he anthropomorphises these homes and populates them with characters who he weaves into the broader narrative of the house.

Personal connections are interwoven with his subjects and inform the narrative from the research stage through to production and public outcome. O’Brien’s recent work shifts away from traditional sculpture to soft sculpture.

The brightly coloured, sewn and stuffed fabric houses and iconic buildings transform them from homes of form and function, creating imaginative sculptures that are both meaningful and playful.

His work is held in the public collection of National Gallery of Victoria, as gifted by Stuart Purves and private collections worldwide.

This project was commissioned by TarraWarra Museum of Art for Victoria Together and is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.

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