Niamh McCann Void Gallery exhibition photos

Niamh McCann

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Curated by Damien Duffy


Niamh McCann is an Irish Artist living and working in Dublin. In this is her first major solo exhibition in Northern Ireland. McCann presents a diverse range of working practise that includes sculpture, installation and painting.

Using everyday objects from the contemporary urban environment, McCann makes visible poetry of chance connections, whimsy and paradox.

Found materials, industrial processes, given logos, re-appropriated signs, newspaper montages – that she alters and then reconfigures to create works as alternate scenarios or landscapes.

The artist builds compositions, which generate their own spatial perception and experience. Creating micro worlds these assemblages present models of nature and place and reflect the complex modelling we use to engage with the world and our ideas of it as “nature” and as “real”‘.

The notion of artist as nomad, collecting cultural artefacts 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.

Created neon works have the radiant glow of cheap commodity yet attract with their slick beauty. McCann splices together references from intuition and imagination with memories of natural, urban and cultural landscapes, all evoking complex relationship between representation and the real.

These works stand in a sublime contrast to the ludic piece in Gallery two, titled “This is a bouncy castle, this is not a bouncy castle. This is a bouncy castle, this is not a bouncy castle “ the continual inflation and deflation of the piece ironically mimic’s the famous Magritte painting “C’est ne pas une pipe” that obviated the question of representation in illusion in Art and in semiotics in language.

The rumbustious and playful piece stands in stark contrast to the sublimity of the works in Gallery one, and yet opens further the questions of our modeling of ideas as to the world but also to our ideas as to Art.