By Nicholas Forrest – TheAList.Art
Using a very specific, methodical process of collection, classification, and organisation, McKay creates mesmerising, mandala-like compositions that challenge the audience to contemplate the way that they process the visual data attached to objects. Her unique modus operandi engenders works that occupy an indefinable position at the intersection of the real and the imagined where she aims to reveal and unveil just how much of the visual data we absorb every day is in some way manipulated, skewed, or falsified.
Things are often not as they seem, and the same can be said for the works in “Blind Radius II – Noir Black.” From a distance, a beautiful lacework panel, but up close, a complex composition of evocative and emotive elements.
From the day they are born, human beings begin to develop a visual databank consisting of images, colours, motifs, and graphics. It is this constantly evolving and growing visual databank that often determine the feelings, sensations, and thoughts that we experience when we come into contact with an object, whether directly (in reality) or in the artificial realm via a medium or of transmission and translation (television, magazine, social media etc.). For the black and white works, for instance, McKay drew inspiration from the emotional and cerebral connection that she developed with the visual and conceptual motif of the “War Laces” sold by women during WW1 to support their families.
Every single day, most human beings face the daunting task of processing and interpreting the excess of visual stimuli that they are bombarded with on a daily basis. In fact, there is so much information and data being fed to us that we often don’t get the opportunity to filter and interpret that information and data. Instead, we rely on what we are told by other people (and entities) to develop thoughts, emotions, and sensations in connection with that information and data – whether or not those thoughts, emotions, and sensations are factual, true, or even rational.
The very fact that we are conditioned to see a particular type of attractiveness in plastic war toys, yet fail to see the beauty in the stunning, sculptural form of a dead branch covered with wonderfully patterned, skeletal leaves that has fallen off a tree into our path, which was once a living entity and is now a wonderful relic of the natural world, suggests that our visual perceptions, physical sensations, and emotional signals have been compromised by the lives we live.
“Blind Radius II Noir Blanc” is a visual and moral antidote to the hyper commercialised, mass producing, super saturated contemporary world. McKay turns the chaos and disorder of contemporary life into structured, mesmerising, and evocative moments of meditation and mindfulness. She not only crafts encapsulating images, but also experiences – experiences that last well beyond the walls of the gallery.