Reflections - Expanded field of painting : Audience : Embodiment : Spatial : Location : Installation / by Ally McGinn

The expanded field of painting can be basically described as forms of painting that go beyond Greenbergian notions of flatness. Paintings that specifically challenge that flatness as part of their creation and form.

My work has fallen into the expanded field of painting for the last two years, and although the definition is becoming somewhat different, i still find myself identifying with the category.


I have covered the reasons that i use installation in another reflection (one relating to mediums).

“ Exploring my questions and interests in a more expanded field, installation allows the space the pieces are shown in to become the surface, a literal expanded field.

I am drawn to installation for it's experiential qualities.

Not trying to represent something real but be something real.

The viewer can step into the real space of the work thereby allowing the disembodied viewer to become the embodied viewer, a collaboration that extends from the production of the work to the viewing of it.”


The audience is a consideration throughout the creation of these works, but again that can arguably be said for many artworks.

Bringing the audience into more of a direct, or influential, dialogue with the works is something i am currently exploring. (Through motion capture, responsive technologies and audience restrictions).


Embodiment here is related to the experience of the viewer (as stated above and below) but i feel a note should be made to the embodiment of materials or ideas. Embodiment is somewhat tied to objectification, although in a more positive light. This link is something i would like to continue in the future, especially the more i realise the importance of the word ‘objectification’.


It is the embodiment of audience, through a careful consideration of spatial concerns, that drives my work towards installation. Spatial concerns are arguably prevalent in all art, however space is moving more towards the subject area of my practice.


The location of the work is a subject i've been thinking about alot lately. My work exists in my studio and i am unsure if it could live outside of it. I have been both encouraged and discouraged to take my work outside the studio, and i'll admit to being unsure where i would take it.

However location, especially in terms of gallery and studio, is a term i find interesting in its temporality. Locations are mostly imposed, their are temporary, and their purpose fluctuates.
A locational narrative.

In terms of my practice the term is one that is on hold somewhat at the moment. While i attempt to explore the ‘right’ location for my practice and its outputs.



I find myself concluding, once more, that these are useful descriptive words and ideas but not a focus. They border on mediums rather than concepts or drives.

The shift out of the studio is an important point.