Ian McConaghy

Contact Information

ian@thesilentroom.co.uk http://thesilentroom.co.uk Torquay digital, drawing, installation, mixed media, painting, paper, printmaking, sculpture Torbay

Ian McConaghy Bio

After a career as an architect, I set up my art practice in Bristol in 2012, exploring sculpture, painting, screen-printing, collage, drawing and writing.
Early themes ranged across music, architecture and literature, and examined the behaviour of humans in their environment.
My first solo exhibition, was inspired by the album ‘Mortlake’ by Microdeform, and included acrylic paintings, water-colours and screen-prints. There was a live performance of the music on the show’s opening night.
In the next exhibition, ‘Space, Time and Identity’, at Bristol’s Centrespace, I explored more abstract ideas, large acrylic works on canvas and smaller acrylic and water-colour pieces on paper, together with improvised multi-media ideas on old maps. Again, Microdeform opened the exhibition and created a new piece, called ‘Transition of Heroes’, inspired by a painting of the same name.
The next exhibition was ‘Places’, at the Tobacco Factory in Bristol, featuring the map paintings, alongside other artists, also exploring ideas to represent and interpret place.
While working on digital paintings, incorporating water-colours and photographs, for Microdeform’s next album, ‘Ferric Redox’, my work took a new direction, exploring ideas set in a challenging future, following a deadly pandemic and the effects of climate change.
At this time, I started work on the first draft of a novel which became ‘Neuworld’. Set in 2200, it contemplates a post-apocalyptic future, with an elite indulging in genetic engineering and organic computers, while less fortunate survivors recycle the remains of their devastated world.
This has continued as a major theme over the last five years. Initially ideas were explored in large charcoal drawings, and later developed as pastel sketches, before finally working into acrylic paintings.
In recent years this methodology has evolved into a hybrid form involving collage using cuttings from old architectural magazines with acrylic painting additions, and some developed into 3D forms.
In 2020, I exhibited a large sculptural piece at the Torre Abbey Spring Open and the book, ‘Neuworld’, was published to coincide with this exhibition.
Since then, I have written two further books, ‘CrashCity’ and ‘Sagan’s Sister’, which now await publication.
New large-scale works, combining painting, collage and modelling, and using recycled materials, include ‘CrashCity’ and ‘The Island’, both inspired by the novel and continue the theme of a future world populated by survivors.
I’m busy filling my studio with new work in anticipation of finding a suitable gallery space so that I can bring all the pieces together in one show.
April 2022

Ian McConaghy Work