McVeigh (b. 1968), a U.K. based multimedia artist, has spent the last two decades traveling, reading, collecting, and making in order to explore the human condition. Part of this process has led to her amassing huge numbers of found objects, many coming from her extensive travels through Mexico, India, China, South Africa, and Central Asia. Each object, worn and showing its age, holds a small piece of history. McVeigh sees herself as the keeper of this history – the memories and experiences embedded within the pages of long-out-of-print books, antiquated cookware, or long forgotten photographs, cards, and letters. These objects fill her studio and serve as a backbone to the work she creates.
McVeigh’s intense curiosity has led to a diverse body of work which includes drawing, painting, installation, and video projects. Elegy to Nature will focus specifically on the ink on paper works, most made within the last three years. These pieces sit somewhere between painting and drawing, abstraction and figuration, and two and three dimensions. McVeigh explores the multifaceted aspects of nature, seeing these paintings as symbolic human landscapes. Black ink flows onto thick woven paper, delicately manipulated into mountainous forms, ships on the water, bodies at rest. Some of the works have lines etched into the paper, an injury to the material that creates depth and movement.
An avid reader, McVeigh’s work is informed by the many books that fill her studio – from philosophy and poetry to mechanical and scientific textbooks – all help feed her creative output. Like Cy Twombly, these books make appearances in the titles of her works, providing additional points of reference from which to view her process.
Elegy to Nature will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, featuring a new essay by renowned art historian, television producer, writer and presenter Simon Schama.