Image Reflections - 'Aesthetics' / by Ally McGinn


The form of this piece references the cover of an oxford book on aesthetics. The cover is a striking geometric design with a classical format.


During creation the book was one of the objects presented. The reference was too over and spoke about books and their covers far too much.

The brick is painted with the same paint found on the floor. The brick was once a doorstop but was overlooked once a wooden wedge replaced it. It is not a complete brick, it can no longer hope to fulfill its original purpose, and yet it remains purposeful.

It's primary qualities have been removed, the grey paint obscures all information about its surface, colour or state, yet we know undoubtedly that it is a brick. It's shape is so common that we recognise it. We are confronted with the internal space of the brick, a side we don't normally see. Of all the bricks we see it is only those that remain unused that are seen as anything but flat.

The gold lump of paint is a remnant from the creation of a commission. This fact isn't really important, the only important consideration, that it is dried paint, is contained within the object. This fact takes some unpicking, but the hints are there: the ridges of a disposable cup, the slump of the paint, the material itself.

The blue paint is excess oil paint made by another artist. The paint was very carefully considered and mixed, she made too much, because each colour is made for the painting she works on this paint was discarded.

It is slowly drying as it is pushed out of it's temporary container, some useable paint remains in the centre, but we are not to know that.

The red plastic is from an unknown container. I found it while walking and couldn't resist it's form. Totally discarded, it's a recognisably useless object. We rarely recognise the function of objects like this, by the time we see it in this form it has fulfilled its function. It echoes the shape of the dried gold paint and the curve of the blue oil.

The ‘staircase’ is a paintbrush rest. Used for years in the studio of a painter whose knowledge and skills I greatly admire. This is one of the few objects I asked for, and I was granted half of the original. It is utterly beautiful.

The reference to a staircase is unavoidable in this orientation. Steps taken, a process, a narrative.

The brown board is all we see of a small canvas board. Cheaply produced it remains unused it it's original function, a yet containing all the potential it could yet achieve.

It hides its face from us. Ashamed. But not. It is an object. Appreciated for its form, the purpose discarded.

It is reminiscent of a construction. It leans against the wall, and yet it could stand alone.

This piece is about the function and purpose of objects. It is a painting and a sculpture, those are it's delivery methods. This is a way to create paintings that does not use any of the materials for their original function.