Sean McGuill was born in Dundalk, Co Louth in 1995. He graduated with a degree in Printmaking & Contemporary Practice from Limerick School of Art & Design in 2018. He recently completed a three-month residency at An Táin Arts Centre, Dundalk and is currently working towards a solo exhibition in Droichead Arts Centre, Drogheda in 2019. His artistic practice comes from observing and engaging with society and popular culture.
Sean’s work has been exhibited in a number of locations across Ireland and was recently featured in group exhibitions in Origin Gallery, Dublin and The Sailors Home in Limerick. His work has been selected for various awards including the John Shinnors Selection at the 2017 LSAD Drawing Awards, as well as the Limerick Lace Drawing Award in 2016 and the LSAD Drawing Awards in 2015. He was shortlisted for the 2017 Hennessy Portrait Prize for his self-portrait and included in the exhibition at the National Gallery of Ireland.
My practice is made in response to the mass media, particularly its manifestation on the Internet, and its effects on the dissemination information. I am fascinated by how we interact with and interpret the images, ideologies and slogans that are prevalent in daily life through the advertising, news, entertainment and social media industries. My work often uses found imagery taken from Facebook and other social media, which are then subverted by removing them from their original context and placing them into layered, collage style compositions.
I am interested in the narrative that is created from the often random and incongruous combinations of images which are consumed at an almost constant rate via social media on our mobile devices. Photos of major global events and tragedies often appear next to memes, cute animals and social events, creating a visual and mental overload of information.
Despite the random appearance of the images that surround us, they are very much mediated by complex algorithms and popular viral trends, creating an artificial construction of reality that reflects the ‘real world’, however inaccurate it may be.
While navigating this landscape of so-called 'post-truth', I am drawn to the aesthetic and moral juxtapositions of these unrelated images and the visual world they inhabit. By translating these images through various print processes, as well as drawing, painting and collage, I seek to question their inherent meaning and give a physical, permanent presence to what would otherwise exist only as disposable digital files.