Niamh McCann

Niamh McCann is an Irish artist living and working in Dublin. A graduate of Chelsea College of Art & Design, London, McCann has exhibited extensively in Europe, Ireland and in the USA employing a variety of working methods from drawing to sculpture. Solo projects include: TiltShift,, The City Gallery, The Hugh Lane (2010), HIAP Project Space, Finland, 2009, Purlieu, Green on Red Gallery, Dublin (2009), <<EME, Pallas Heights, Dublin (2005) and Total Eclipse of …, Planet 22, Geneva, Switzerland (2001). Previous exhibitions have included: Into Irish Drawing, Paris/IHolland/reland (2009), LOCWS International III, Swansea, Wales (2007), Transmediale – Berlin Kurfürstendamm, (Public Arts Fest. Berlin, Germany 2004), Come In – Vienna International Apartment, (Austria, 2003), Appropriation – Ormeau Baths Gallery, (Belfast, 2002), EV+A – Limerick City Gallery (Limerick, 2001/2), Perspective 2000 – Ormeau Baths Gallery (Belfast, 2000) McCann was recipient of the Perspective 2000 Absolut Exhibition award, the EV+A 2002, travel award

‘In the broadest of terms my work invites a re-consideration of our relationship to the world around us – a questioning of how this world constitutes us as subjects and how we, in turn, give this world form. My recent work examines, in particular, to what extent our understandings of the grand themes of modernity, globalisation and urbanisation are actually shared and experienced in common? In working through this, my thought process has been developed and channeled through making – a making that explores philosophical riddles/conundrums through seemingly random juxtapositions and spatial relationships.

Practically speaking, this involves aspects of representation; the framing and construction of visual landscape through devices such as the use of the decontextualised, vestigial modernist icon or the recasting of information as pure image. This can be loosely separated into three linked, but distinct strands: installation or sited works, drawing/painted pieces and more physically concise and intimate three-dimensional works.

I use almost any medium, from traditional technological means (print / video / sculpture /paint) through to the reuse of information via: brands and logos, broken-down signage, architectural salvage, newspaper text and general cultural debris. The everyday may be found in these media, but so also may the minor note or the artifact of unrealised cultural or political vision. No one element is assured its hierarchy in the finished work. In this way, I try to build compositions that can generate their own sense of a democratising spatial perception and experience, both inside and outside the work.’

‘The dialogue within and between McCann’s works has a layered reading. The adoption of cultural motifs, kitsch and iconic imagery as language is indicative of her continuing exploration of perception, what fact is and what is fiction. The notion of artist as nomads, collecting cultural artifacts and gathering them together to create an imaginative landscape is an undercurrent in her work. The notion of truth and how it is qualified is a constant quest. Her works and their lightness of touch in her use of materials add to their poetics.’ – Mary Cremin, Curator


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