My practice is concerned with the exploration of clay whilst also investigating the possibilities of a crossover of materials between glass, wood and metal. I embrace the techniques and tradition of clay but am always attempting to push the boundaries of this versatile medium. Most of my work is built with porcelain paper clay, yet I dip in and out of many ceramic processes from throwing to alternative firing techniques. I feel a great connection to working with a piece of the earth and by how the use of the other elements air, water and fire can transform a piece clay into the most wonderful creations.
In August 2017, myself and good friend Linda Smyth co-curated the exhibition titled ‘Queeriosity’ in the Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast. This exhibition addressed the importance of visibility in the community. It was also an exciting opportunity to view and attend a celebration of all things queer. My own work within this exhibition had a focus on the representation of drag. This derived from revisiting themes on metamorphosis. The exhibition started because of the work I wanted to produce and ended up being so much bigger and more meaningful then I ever expected. I am a great supporter of LGBTQ rights, equality, and feminism, yet I am still grateful to have been part of such an exhibition. I was extremely humbled and amazed by the other artists in the exhibition, as well as the support from all the other businesses that helped this exhibition happen with no funding or money.
My current work involves the concept of producing three-dimensional sculptural work hung on a vertical surface. This has been an ongoing process to explore the infinite possibilities of materials and to produce unique framed sculptural work. My work has taken a journey to effectively extend out of the frame, thus leaving a more tactile surface for the viewer to enjoy. I also try and create perspective inside a 2-dimensional surface to open the structure with textures and lines.
Colour and texture are essential to produce my work. With the combination of glass, enamels, oxides, glazes, handmade slips, and coloured clays, I have acquired many special techniques to produce the vibrant colours that are necessary for my creations.
Most of my work is derived from emotional responses to experiences and opinions, whilst also revisiting themes of metamorphosis, memory, and storytelling. As I move forward, I always seem to create where urgency takes me.
Shauna McCann 2020