Between Painting and Place
8 May-18 June 2015
Preview 7 May 2015
Guardian Guide Review
Jo McGonigal's practice examines how the compositional and material components of painting affect the experiential basis of the viewer, not what the painting means but what it does. She examines the language of matter and sensation, where painting is being experienced as opposed to being seen. Jo explores what painting does when its relationship to the viewer as a 'pure' optical experience is destabilised. Her investigation examines what painterly environments and qualities trigger our senses to the extent that bodily expressions can be affected by them [embodied spacial perception]. Jo is interested in making the engagement with painting a physical event where the experience of looking calls upon the viewer to be aware of themselves and their perceptual process as multi sensory where:
'qualities of matter, scale and colour, are measured equally by the eye, ear, nose, skin, tongue, skeleton and muscle'.1
Her view of our image faced, digitised world distances the expressive body from real experience and denies the viewer an experiential, tactile encounter of looking that actively engages the other senses. Jo often uses compositional strategies to engage the viewer in a physical encounter of looking and being within a 'spatialised' painting. Incorporating materials that resonate with their wider surroundings and the outside environment, she externalises materially what is already there, into formal 'painterly' compositions. By walking through these paintings, perception becomes orchestrated by our bodily experience of scale, space, textural matter, and light through the inter-relations of our senses.
The artist's intention is to direct the viewers' attention towards the made and the readymade, putting things together and 'loosening' off their ties to existing contexts so each element is both a part and apart, thus creating a cognitive dissonance in our understanding of what we see.
Jo McGonigal (B.1969,Manchester) is currently undertaking a Practiced based Phd at the University of Leeds that examimes Painting and Materiality [Amanda Burton Scholarship]. Jo studied fine art at the University of West of England and later completed her MFA at Manchester school of Art in 2008 (AHRC Scholarship).
1, J. Pallasmaa, The eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the sense (London Academy editions 1996). p.29
Close Looking (Green Corner Painting) 2015, Chrome Oil on Lycra & Wood, (35 x 10 x 7cm)
China Sock 2015, Polyester knee length sock & hollow fibre filling, (56 x 10 x 7cm)
Carbon Series No. I (2013) , Folded Carbon Paper , (21.75 x 21 cm)