Michael Wann

In a Garden I Once Knew


Reception Thursday 14 April, 6-8pm

15 April - 7 May, 2016




“Line, the basic element of drawing, is a fact of location, as is its minimalist relative, a point. Line is formless but can powerfully connect or divide space and make the time laboured in it. These are some if the thoughts that Michael Wann’s art provokes. It is art that places drawing at its core. Colour is eschewed in favour of black and white images in which the landscape of Sligo, where the artist lives, predominates. But it is also art that makes place and location central issues of the self. In carefully selected and intensely observed drawings like Riverpath, Shadow Steps and Shadow Stream, we are presented with a section of a woodland full of light, shade, and a myriad of surface marks that create atmosphere and slow down the viewing process in ways that echo the time taken to make them.”


“Wann’s work is very much about the process of mark making. Limiting his drawing process to charcoal with and without water and a water-soluble pencil, he creates wonderfully textured drawings that allow elements of chance and intention to work together. Control and freedom are juxtaposed when unexpected breaks occur with brittle charcoal or drips of the water from charcoal washes are readily incorporated into drawings. This has the effect of creating tonal passages offset by punctuated marks that up close appear to be abstract, yet when viewed from afar, become convincingly recognisable elements of landscape.”


Excerpts from “In a Garden I Once Knew” by Brenda Moore-McCann, Irish Arts Review, Spring, 2016


Michael Wann has exhibited in a number of solo and group shows. He won the AXA Insurance Drawing Prize at the RHA Annual in 2006, the Tom Caldwell Drawing Prize at the Royal Ulster Academy, selected by Hughie O’ Donoghue in 2010, and this year was awarded the ESB Keating Award and Silver Medal for an outstanding artwork, for Shadow Stream at the 186th RHA Annual. His work is held in public and private collections in Ireland, Britain, France, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.