Fionnuala McKenna

By annmarie.keaveney, 18 December, 2023
Samples of work
Fionnuala McKenna Shirts hanging on a projector Plaster mould Charcoal drawing

Artist Biography

My practice draws on the exploration of the human body and for purposes of economy and practicality I utilise my own body in the production of my work. The overarching themes of bodily autonomy, materiality, body politics and identity reoccur in various forms and physical expression. My interest in biomorphic structures stem from childhood experiences exploring my rural surroundings which shaped and developed my understanding and respect of a natural landscape analogous to the human body. Palestinian born artist Mona Hatoum and Polish born Magdalena Abakanowicz have both inspired my thought process in the development of a political aesthetic within my sculpture, while the literature of French feminist Luce Irigaray, informs the narrative of my work. My practice addresses the essence of human form through my own haptic sensibility of self.

Fionnuala McKenna. b.1964, Leitrim Ireland. Fionnuala studied Women’s’ Art studies at DIT 1995, and pursued a BA in Fine Art at GMIT, CCAM where she graduated with distinction in 1998. She was awarded student of the year in Sculpture, the recipient of the Walsh Waste Award. Her first Public Art Commission (% Scheme) was in Waterford, 1999 and was short listed for two further Public Art commissions in Castlerea and Omagh. In 2000 she received the Arts Council ‘Artist in the Community Award in Co. Mayo. Her work has been included in many groups shows, Galway Arts Centre, Customs House Studios, Westport, Leitrim Sculpture Centre Manorhamilton, General Hospital Castlebar, Co. Council Offices Carrick on Shannon, Roe Valley Arts Centre Limavady and Uccio Biondi, Studio, Ceglie Messapica, Puglia, Italy. In 2018 after a period of absence from her practice where she focused on raising her family, she returned to CCAM to earn a master’s in creative Practice. In 2022 she moved to Cloughjordan, Co. Tipperary

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