Niamh McCann is an Irish artist living and working in Dublin. Untitled is her first major solo exhibition in Northern Ireland. McCann presents a diverse range of working practice 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, which she alters and then reconfigures to create works as alternate scenarios or landscapes.

The artist builds compositions that 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 mimics 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 1 and yet opens further the questions of our modelling of ideas – as to the world – but also to our ideas – as to art.

Niamh McCann Biography

Niamh McCann’s diverse and playful practice, which includes sculpture, installation, painting and video, explores philosophical riddles/conundrums through seemingly random visual juxtapositions and spatial relationships, looking toward themes of travel, globalisation and urbanisation within very particular social and political contexts.

Recent exhibitions include: The Future Perfect: We Are Here, Rubicon Projects Brussels, Belgium (2013). Changing States: Contemporary Irish Art and Francis Bacon’s Studio, BOZAR, Brussels, Belgium (2013). Lightness, Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray (2012). Insertions, Green on Red Gallery, Dublin, Ireland (2012). Time Out Of Mind, IMMA at the National Concert Hall, Dublin (2012). Niamh McCann, Void Gallery, Derry (2011). this little bag of dreams, Catherine Clark Gallery, San Francisco (2011). Bizarre Bazaar, Pallas Contemporary Projects, Dublin (2010). …and if I listen in I hear my own heart beating…, Cake Contemporary Arts, Kildare (2010). Tiltshift, The Golden Bough, The Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin (2010).

For more about Niamh McCann’s work please visit her website.


Void is supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Derry City and Strabane District Council.