London-based artist Emma McNally will be showing her "drawing/space" works in the "Abstract Drawing" exhibition at London's Drawing Room beginning February 20, 2014. Delving into the idea of abstraction in the drawing medium, "Abstract Drawing" will be curated by artist Richard Deacon, making it the Drawing Room's fourth artist-curated exhibition.
Even at first glance, McNally's silver-beaded wire sculptures and graphite drawings resemble constellations in the night sky or maps, while other paperfolding pieces look like geological forms. There's no doubt her interests in philosophy, science, and music influence the intuitive, cartographic quality of her work.
Excerpt from an interview with Luce Garrigues of Pasajes arquitectura, courtesy of Emma McNally:
"Born in 1969, Emma started to create art as a way to unfold her thoughts and reflections whilst studying for her MA in Political Philosophy at York. She describes her drawings as a visualisation of complex systems and as a 'visual thinking around questions of emergence'.
Emma's interest in philosophy, science and music is also reflected in her extensive and symbolic use of graphite (pencil and graphite powder) made of Carbon, the chemical basis of all known life that recalls the essential and natural bond between the human and the universe.
Some of Emma's earliest pencil drawings are associated with mappings of geological formations and constellations. They appear to be the result of scientific readings yet they have been made intuitively. Their abstract vocabulary has a likeness to musical scores and computer coding, creating a matrix of humming activity where chaos is organised by rhythms and connections.
In her most recent pieces McNally has favoured a more physical and almost sculptural approach pouring pure graphite powder on to large surfaces covered with paper or muslin and hammering nails into them. Shimmering like stars, the nails form part of a network of intricate, repetitive pencil marks, crosses, dashes, dots and lines.
Increasing McNally's work is moving into three dimensional space with the incorporation of hand woven structures in fine steel wire and paper folding. Attempting to interrogate the virtual/actual distinction, she is placing these wire structures onto drawings, photographing them, placing the structures on the resultant images on a computer screen, photographing again and continuing to repeat the process (in order to break down and make complex the separation of 'real' and mediated screen image). She is interested in continually pushing spatial thinking into a grey area of complexity, hybridity and transformation.
Emma has an ability to push her boundaries to ensure that her practice is constantly an experimental venture in tune with a world in a perpetual state of flux:
'...I want to bring very different ways of describing space together cartographies, scientific modellings of all sorts, tech-nological spaces, telecommunications, flight paths, tracks and transmissions, visualisations of complex systems,networks etc. I am attempting to break down any hierarchies between the spaces as being more or less inherently ‘natural’ or defining and to think about ways in which 'selves' and 'world' are mutually arising and interdependent.' (Luce Garrigues)"
Click here to see more of McNally's work.
You can also browse the thumbnail gallery to see additional images.
All images via EmmaMcNally1 on flickr. Interview text courtesy of Emma McNally.