Emma McNally

11 September 2013
Carbon Cleaving

John Creasey Museum

Purchased by the Contemporary Art Society for John Creasey Museum, Salisbury. John Creasey was a prolific author who published more than 600 books during his lifetime. The museum holds a large collection of Creasey’s books and manuscripts. Artists represented in the collection include Gillian Ayers, David Hockney, Howard Hodgkin, Henry Moore and Paul Nash. New work is added to the collection on a regular basis from final year students at selected art schools throughout the south of England.
Emma McNally’s drawing, Carbon Cleaving, brings different ways of describing space together: cartographies, technological spaces, telecommunications, flight paths, tracks and transmissions. The materials used to create these spaces of transformation include paper, graphite, chalk, tissue and holes and metal pins that impregnate the soft paper surface. She writes: ‘I like graphite’s materiality: its mess and dirt as well as its capacity to leave the cleanest, sharpest percussive marks and lines. I feel like I’m forging land formations when I use it, or scattering particles, or spiralling vortices of smoke and water’. Her large drawings point the viewer to a different universe while the small drawings act as charts providing clues and direction.
The landscape in Wiltshire, the co-existence of chalk plateaux, nearby motorways, the trails and tracks of army activity on Salisbury Plain, correspond with the rhythms of McNally’s drawing. Carbon Cleaving provides a counterpoint to existing works in John Creasey Museum’s collection that reflect a more traditional approach to landscape painting.


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