As an artist based in Belfast who grew up in Armagh, McCann’s work is firmly rooted in a lived experience of Northern Ireland at the end of the twentieth and the beginning of the twenty-first century. In these paintings we find intimate and personal memories and observations looped into and threaded together with so-called historical facts and accepted truths. Folding many elements together into these layered compositions, the artist delicately explores the gaps between official documented reality and subjective memory.
These works inextricably link a private world of the past with an observed contemporary social and political landscape. Poetic, absorbing and ambiguous, they offer up a space for contemplation in amongst our increasingly distracting and erratic surroundings.
“In this work I am trying to generate a charge in some way, to create an emotional presence that may not be easily understood, but that might jolt a viewer into thinking about certain things - whether they are wholly intimate and personal feelings, or something broader, relating to the constantly shifting society around us.” (Paddy McCann 2015)