TOTEM YOKES / Maria McKinney
Curated by Oonagh Young
Wexford County Council Offices
18 October – 3 December 2021
Opening Reception: Friday 22 October at 6pm
Opened by Artist & Writer Ciara Healy-Musson
Maria McKinney works in sculpture, photography and film that primarily investigates agricultural practices and the science that informs various methods of food production. She is interested in the underlying complexities experienced by all those connected with the land and farms as sites where these practices take place. For this new body of work, commissioned by Wexford County Council for the M11 Per Cent for Art Scheme*, McKinney shows a series of new sculptures inspired by agrarian practices and pastoral traditions of six farms currently operating in the Wexford countryside. The artist visited the farms and listened to how certain practices, histories and stories have led to particular modes of food production in these townlands.
All the sculptures in Totem Yokes are accompanied by photographs of the artist wearing the work on the farms that served as inspiration. This playful engagement is rooted in the serious underlying connections between a wide variety of influences on food production and consumption that literally gets under your skin.
Maria McKinney is an artist based in Dublin, Ireland. In 2019 she realised a new project on the island of Jersey including a live sculptural intervention at the annual cattle show. She also produced new work in collaboration with genomic researchers at the EU Joint Research Centre in Italy, exhibited on site and then at Bozar in Brussels. Other recent work considered the use of genomics in modern cattle-breeding, collaborating with genetic scientists and a pedigree bull-stud farm, and supported by a Welcome Trust arts award.
Previous solo exhibitions include the Museum of English Rural Life (2019), RHA, Dublin, Lokaal 01, Antwerp, Belgium (both 2016), La Permanence, Clermont-Ferrand, France (2015), the MAC, Belfast (2012) and the Lab Gallery, Dublin (2010). Her work was included in the four person exhibition Somewhere in Between at the Wellcome Collection, London UK in 2018. She was shortlisted for the MAC International Prize 2014, selected by Judith Nesbitt, Francesco Bonami and Hugh Mulholland.
* The M11Gorey to Enniscorthy PPP Per Cent for Art Scheme is funded through Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) and managed by Wexford County Council’s Arts Office.
For further information on the exhibition please contact Catriona O’Sullivan, Assistant Staff Officer, The Arts Department, Wexford County Council, Carricklawn, Wexford on +353 (0)53 9196369 or email email@example.com