FIELDS CHARTS SOUNDINGS
'(tracing) additional courses over spaces that
before were blank/..threading a maze of currents
the range of any series of actions or energies
region of space in which forces are at work: the
locality of a battle: the battle itself: a wide
expanse: the area visible to an observer at one time:
a system or collection.
a marine or hydrographical map exhibiting part of the
sea or other water with the islands, contiguous
coasts, soundings, currents etc: an outline map,curve,
or a tabular statement giving information of
to measure the depth of; to probe: to try to discover
the inclinations, thoughts etc. to take soundings:
to dive deep, as a whale.
In Emma McNally's work dense layers of carbon* on
paper create fields which offer themselves up to
meaning: planes, vectors, topoi are overlaid, or
coexist with swarms, shoals, marks laid out in
The effect is of a continuous flux formed by a
congruence of information systems: neural networks,
contagion maps, sonar soundings, weathers systems,
water currents, charts plotting the migratory habits
of deep-ocean mammals.
Focusing on rhythm as an expression of the dynamic
of forming/unforming, McNally thinks this through
graphically by highly charged percussive mark-making.
Lines carry force, like the pulse of an ECG or a
measure of seismic activity.
Ways in which the 'matter' or 'noise' of charged
marks (unclaimed by frequencies or channels) combine,
disperse and recombine into gatherings of static are
explored. Passage is forged between differing
rhythmic expressions: highly regularised, geometric
systems of marks enter into configurations with
chaotic swarms and fugitive marks.
Regularised, centralising and defining forces are
disrupted, subverted and deterritorialised. The
nomadic and fugitive are subject to forces that
and formalise. Monolithic and viral tendencies
Overall the attempt is made to maintain a state of
flow, of passage between these forces where both are
in danger of overrunning but are constantly overthrown
- with the resulting mutations and proliferations
Artist Bio / CV
Emma McNally studied Philosophy and English Literature at York University followed by an MA in Political Philosophy at York. Her dissertation ‘Contingency and Constraint’ explored the dynamic between doubt and certainty in relation to knowledge foundations.
McNally lives and works in London and has exhibited at Mummery+Schnelle (London) Purdy Hicks (London) Trinity Contemporary (London/NY) Nettie Horn (London) David Risley Gallery (Copenhagen) T1+2 Gallery (London), Zoo Art Fair (London), Chicago Art Fair, 9 Hillgate, Flora Fairbairn Projects (London).
Online her work is included on
and will be in the upcoming book 'Visual Complexity' (Princeton Architectural Press) by Manuel Lima as well as the book 'Hyperdrawing' (Taurus Press) both out later this year.
Review in Art Monthly for the solo show 'Fields Charts Soundings':
University of York 1991-1993 MA Political PhilosophyUniversity of York: 1987-1990 BA English/Philosophy