Trained in 3-dimensional design, Lucie McCann started her career working as a furntiure designer in London. Since moving to Australia in 2007 her energies and skills have been focused on her development as a ceramicist, and she has participated in several solo and group exhibitions in both London and Australia.
"These heads harness a strong set of contradictory emotions. They are imbued with ancient notions of power and status, but they also engage with recent anxieties concerning our relationship with animals.
These works developed from a fascination with taxidermy, a practice which, paradoxically, kills the character of a beast through the blunt presence of a corpse. Instead, McCann’s guilt-free portraiture allows the expression of a creature’s individuality.
Three works are sketched quickly in clay, others are modeled in more detail, but all can be immediately recognised as particular species. White glazed clay reproduces the form of
the animal but other sensory factors are deliberately excluded or altered. Form triggers the viewer’s memory, leaving the glazed surface to extend a further narrative.
Tattoos may be a committed form of individual expression but they are actually drawn by someone else. McCann highlights the fiction of her portraiture by applying two and three dimensional tattoos to the heads, not so much as a reminder of mortality, but more to show how identity and integrity are fragile and both vulnerable to mocking decapitation.
With a diminishing role for animals in our daily lives, and with extinction a real possibility, maybe in the not so distant future artefacts like these will be all that is left to remind us
that animals were individuals too."