Niamh McCann is a visual artist and creator of sculptural poetry. Her work teases out the parallax in interplay between visual culture and histories and the created environment. Much of her work explores the dynamic relationship between the audience, the object and its mode of display.
McCann is concerned with the position of the viewer when confronted with the act of looking at and relating to, objects within specific contexts. In particular, she examines how the artist explores looking within the constructed landscape.
McCann works by drawing together many different reference points and distilling them into a kind of sculptural poetry. Just Left of Copernicus is a series of solo exhibitions taking place in 2015-16. References in this series, include photos of the 1969 moon landings with the Copernicus crater as a backdrop, advertising images of Aer Lingus from the 1950’s and 60’s, the work of engineering pioneer Buckminister Fuller and the ideas of German expressionist architect and scenographer Hans Poelzig (1869-1936), best known for the design of Frankfurt’s IG Farben building and the sets for the iconic film Der Golem.
Copernicus for Now is large, site-responsive sculpture / structure. It was developed in collaborative discussion with the School of Architecture at the University of Limerick in Ireland (SAUL) and architects Séamus Bairead and Jack Byrne around the structural and material considerations for this work. It is a piece that involves the principle of geodesic and grid-like construction, to create a structure that is both a location and an object as an adjunct to, or within, existing sites. The work acts as a locus for both, as it is large enough to house other activities while retaining its extrinsic form.
What unites these disparate influences is the idealism they represented in their original incarnations and the ways in which, over time, they have become overlaid with different narratives, stories and meanings. McCann’s interest is in this interweaving of fact and fiction, the overlapping layers of narrative, history and fable that are contained within the cultural and physical structures that we construct.