Jill McKeown: Small World, 2 July - 15 August 2009
MCAC is pleased to present new work by Belfast-based artist Jill McKeown completed during her 2008/2009 in-house residency.
McKeown’s work examines relationships between memory, the passing of time and associations with place. This new body of work, which represents MCAC’s first solo print show, explores and measures time and place by observing networks, associations and mapping. The artist explains that “in mathematics and physics, a small-world network is a type of mathematical graph. When this network is used where nodes represent people and edges connect people that know each other this captures the small world phenomenon of strangers being linked by a mutual acquaintance.”
Within this context Mckeown has been observing and photographing crowd scenes, in particular at stations or junctions where there is a daily repetitive traffic of people. The residency at MCAC enabled the artist to spend time ‘collecting’ images and ‘gathering’ material, through photography and drawings, text and ideas, which then formed the starting point to a new body of work. McKeown describes the process as an extension of her previous work as well as a new departure. “For some time my work has been based on archiving memory and place. With this residency I wanted to focus on new research. While still relating to place and in some ways memory, I have concentrated more on the transient passing of time and interconnectedness of people. Exploring how people become connected through a network of associations and how individuals inhabit space”.
This creative experimentation and development has culminated in a series of prints and artist’s books, which provides the foundation for the Small World exhibition.
McKeown studied at the University of Ulster, Belfast receiving an MA Fine & Applied Art in 1997. Since leaving college she has undertaken artists residencies in Wisconsin, Ohio, Maine, Seattle, New York, Washington DC, Connecticut, Venice, Italy, Annaghmakerrig, Cushendall and Clo Ceardlann, Donegal. She has exhibited in solo and group shows in Ireland, America, UK, Europe, Egypt, China and Japan. In December 2008, McKeown was awarded the Leonie King Mid-Career Artist Award selected by Robert Kennan of Bonhams Auctioneers, London.