Mariapaola McGurk | Finding The Pattern


Mariapaola McGurk


3 March – 24 March 2022

Making function the focus.

Initially the search for the pattern in my artworks was a technical response to the limitations of the medium – papercutting. Papercutting is a process of extraction; there is nothing added to the paper but instead the imagery is made visible through the removal of the paper, in a similar way to a sculptor working in wood or stone. The limitation is that all elements of the imagery must be connected, or the pieces will fall out. This limitation led to using pattern as that connection. The patterns also serve as the strength of the paper – lessening the fragility of the work.

The pattern is technically needed; it is not simply decorative but essential to the artwork.

This began a thought process relating to our everyday routines, our patterns as people. Our choices. If the pattern holds us together – what patterns do we choose? Patterns, however, decoratively striking, are mundane and repetitive – not necessarily our focal point or even an area of interest.

During 2020 the rhythm of my life, and most people’s lives, was challenges and disrupted. My creative company had to close down and with it the loss of daily interactions with people working or visiting the workshop. Those faces are seen throughout this exhibition and are portraits of memory, of change, of disruption.

With that disruption has come a huge shift in my focal point and an acknowledgement of the patterns I need to find – the rhythms I need to create. It has also changed my focal point. The repetition, the connections, the threads that weave the story together – are so important, without them we have nothing.

 Finding the Pattern is about finding the strongest ways to stay connected, to make the bigger picture possible….to not fall apart.