Reflections - Unwanted : Defunct : Overlooked : Less Apparent : Everyday : Studio / by Ally McGinn


The vast majority of objects in our lives are destined to become unwanted. An expiration date is written into their creation, but in many cases the expiration is based on a decision, a decision that is almost certainly based on function.

When an object or idea loses its functionality (and this can be through deterioration, obsolescence, use, or choice) it becomes unwanted.

Using these objects as base materials redefines their function, arguably removing it, while simultaneously extending their purpose.

Nomination through art invites engagement, the viewer is asked to look again at these objects. (The use often implied within them, a contained narrative.)

A cousin to the unwanted, the overlooked differs in its definition. Both are dormant, attention placed elsewhere. As we focus on things we deem important, or more increasingly functional, we ignore everything that is outside our narrow view.

The more intertwined with technology we become the more that becomes labelled as overlooked.

Bringing the overlooked to attention encourages a wider viewpoint in other areas. Encouraging others to see the art in the world around them. (Or is it more important to say that we are encouraging them to see the connections, visual and conceptual, around them.)

The ‘less apparent’ implies something that is viewed, and possibly focussed on, but is not seen.

Capturing this in an artwork requires a deeper examination on the part of the artist and viewer. Occasionally the less apparent remains the never seen.

Each of these words describes a family of objects defined through the way we use and interact with them.

It is in the unfocused view that these objects form a category.

It is this inattention brought to attention, which I believe adds energy and implication to the work, that I am to capture.

These notions are part of our everyday. The term ‘everyday’ in art refers to objects found in day to day life, normal activities.

Everyday is constant and yet it shifts. It carries context as much as any artwork, and describes the world in which it was formed.

I have said before that I focus on the everyday in artistic practice and presentation. I firmly believe this is true but two questions arise, for now; 1) am I looking at the true everyday of art, or have I gotten narrowed down? (Either is fine, I simply need to understand that) and 2) should I be bringing more everyday items from the wider world?

Both need consideration.

Studio - this is a short note. The everyday of my artistic life is my studio. It is a source of inspiration, subject, workplace, sketchbook and exhibition space. This multi-functional nature leads to a dynamic spatial interaction.

The studio has long been an interest, especially multi-function studios, which undergo fascinating changes, shifting the artwork and artist as they do.

I am going to explore taking the artwork out of the studio but I'll admit to being a bit conceptually constipated in this area.



These words are important. They describe many of the contextual ideas that are embedded in the objects that I use and present.

I am unsure however whether this is a focus, or a description, or even something I am fluent enough in physically that I can choose to focus in other areas at the moment.