McKay’s practice gives him an opportunity to convey his interests through visual means, using a diverse range of media, including paint, print and photography. Through a process of driven observation, his aim is to engage the viewer and increase understanding of the chosen subject matter represented in the works. His focus is to create a rapport and dialogue between his childhood memories and the passage of the erased hidden architectural past, and he is intent on capturing a place in time of changing locations. His experimental developed process explores each concept to generate visual interpretations of the subject matter, and the fluidity of his work and its haunting sense of presence helps to create a sense of place, intimately depicting the lost, isolation and space of these locations.
He has exhibited internationally whilst embarking on his painterly journey,
His practice is inspired and influenced by a wide range of artists/photographers and film, including artists Turner, Matisse, Jasper Johns, Ed Ruscha and Francis Bacon, photographers Tony Ray Jones and Martin Parr, and film makers Terence Davies, Ken Loach.
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‘Bandstand Painting No 30’ mixed media on board (91 cm x 60 cm)
Bandstand Painting Collection
Isolated, abandoned, neglected, and fractured from the constant redevelopment surrounding the Bandstand in the inner city Park sits and watches as an onlooker cocooned in time. McKay concentrates on the fragmented elements of the Bandstands broken decayed perimeter railings as a metaphor of a timeless era. His palette is limited, sensitive and respectful of the building existence.
‘Hanging on to Moments of Optimism and Clarity Painting No 8’ oil on canvas (64 cm x 81 cm)
‘Hanging on to Moments of Optimism and Clarity Painting No 5’ oil on canvas (64 cm x 81 cm)
Hanging on to Moments of Optimism and Clarity
Ian McKay explores the fragility of life in this new work. He’s interested in how our state of mind can falter when we’re faced with mental ill health.
Although not a sufferer himself – but close to others who have – his nine paintings examine what he imagines it feels like when life becomes a circus of hopeless despair, the light disappears, we become disengaged, slipping away from the familiar, or when unwelcome ‘mad shadows’ appear.
Using his own life studies of the human figure and incorporating found imagery, the work has been influenced by the fashion editor Sally Brampton’s memoir ‘Shoot the Damn Dog’ in which she describes her own depression as, ‘the monster at the throat pulling tight around the neck’.
McKay hopes this work will further add to people’s understanding of mental illness and notes that although each painting focuses on a figure enclosed in a vacuum of space, there’s also a passage of hope.
‘Seaside Town Painting No 3 – Southend on Sea’ acrylic on canvas (130 cm x 106 cm)
“The landscape assumes all the aspiration of the heart, it is the boundless field of poetic freedom, and a privileged crossroads of moods, it even ceases to be a type in order to become the sole necessity of a generation for which romanticism is neither a fashion nor an aesthetics but a gush from the depths of ones being, a constant exaltation of life and of the eye!” Henri Lemaître
Emptiness, isolation, separation, seclusion, space, opening, volume and quantity are all words that McKay uses to express the feeling of standing on a British beach, gazing across the sea as an inner city urban visitor.
He states the fact that during the mid-19th century the introduction of the railways brought people from British industrial cities to our seaside towns, now our airports take them away.
This on-going structured project to visit British seaside towns between 2011 and the present has produced a wealth of visual observational documentation. In the form of paint and print, his work aims to explore the increased emptiness and isolation during these rival times of overseas package holidays. The British coastal resort is for many presently simply only a day trip.
McKay’s objective is to observe the demise of an annual exodus of the population seeking a pleasurable experience, and produce a body of work using colour studies and text developed from existing location signage. Where else would we see signs reading Promenade, Kiss me Quick, Rock and Pier the unique language of the Seaside Town.
‘Kes! Kes! C’mon Kes!’ oil on canvas (60 cm x 65 cm)
The Splendor of it All!!
McKay’s ongoing fascination with the Cinematic World, has directed his focus and ambition to produce a series of paintings which are a departure from previous work.
This has resulted in allowing his practice to become self-indulgent, creating a “sense of discovery” with the materials. The work is titled using quotations from the chosen film dialogue, and McKay has largely reflected on 1970’s films produced during his adolescent years. These films collectively continue to directly influence his personal creative process.
Image 1 – Work is related to colour studies developed from the film “Kes” and found composition.