My artistic practice explores the continuity between myself, others (both human & more than human) and the wider cosmos. Consistent threads of narrative and time are interwoven to link happenings in the physical world with the unseen and the mysterious.
Drawing is a keystone of my practice working as a research method, a starting point to create installations and sculpture. My drawings are abstract including responses to the environment they are created in, excerpts of text and nods to navigation and astrological symbolism. My installations utilise made, found and gifted objects, symbols, texts and a variety of other ephemeral materials. These include different types of wax, sugar, honey, wine, flower petals, crystals and silk. I recently began working with scent as a material to trigger a more visceral reaction to my work. A lot of what I produce is in essence forms of ritual or offerings to the heavens and/or mythological deities.
Karan Barads onto-epistemology (where what we know cannot be separated from how we are in the world) and Stacy Alaimo’s trans-corporeality (the enfolding of human bodies with one another, with non-human creatures and physical landscapes) – are both highly influential on my artistic practices and my approach to research and workshop facilitation. Situated knowledges and methods to access these, often through somatic methods such as movement, massage or breathwork, are very important to me. Elements of Hermetic and Jungian philosophy in conjunction with Western & Hellenistic astrology also contribute to frame how I view and experience time. The principals and mythological narratives inherent in these practices often appear in my art and writing.
The Irish language lingers around the edges and whispers through so much of my work. I am not a native speaker and I have a complicated relationship with the language. Having been reasonably fluent up to the age of 17 I can now only remember snippets of words and phrases. Both Gaeilge (Irish) & Gaidhlig (Scots Gaelic) hold the tantalising possibility of connecting to a pre capitalistic way of seeing/being in the world; where often the environs and emotion are the subject rather than the “I”. Manchán Magan’s work has opened my eyes to the ability Irish has to connect us to the landscape and the mysteries of the unseen that is not only numinous but may provide new views on the current ecological crisis.