Shauna McMullan, Travelling the Distance, 2006

Shauna McMullan (b.1971 Northern Ireland, lives and works Glasgow)

Installation of 100 porcelain sentences

This artwork is an installation of 100 handwritten sentences made of porcelain. The sentences were collected by the artist on a journey around Scotland to meet 99 women. Each of the 99 women was asked to write something about a woman they felt had made a significant contribution to life, culture or democracy in Scotland. The artist asked each woman to refer her to another woman, which was the basis for the artist's journey until she reached the final woman.

Porcelain sentancesThe artist is interested in the relationship between the role of the artist and mapping, especially when exploring equality, diversity and gender politics. She was also interested in the significance of oral histories and testimonies to the history of a nation, when developing the concept for this work of art.

The sentences are made from porcelain, a material often considered fragile, but which can have different strengths and qualities depending on how it is made. Each sentence depicts the handwriting of the individual woman who contributed the sentence. The artist herself also wrote a sentence for the work.

The artwork was funded by the Scottish Government and commissioned by Government and Scottish Parliament representatives to celebrate the contributions and roles of women to many areas of life in Scotland.

Artist biography

Shauna McMullan
Born 1971 Northern Ireland, lives and works Glasgow

Shauna McMullan is an artist and lecturer. Her main areas of research are in feminism, geography and collective practice.

She is particularly interested in collaborating with people from different backgrounds, cultures, disciplines and generations. Maps and mapping have always been central to her practice from Travelling the Distance (2006) to the recent I Gladly Strained My Eyes to Follow You (Pollok House, Glasgow, 2018). Shauna works across a wide range of media, depending on the context.

Her interest in mapping is not about physical space but rather about the relatedness and connectivity of people. In particular, she is interested in whether an artist can create alternative mappings, especially when exploring gender politics.

Shauna studied sculpture in Cheltenham followed by a Master of Fine Art at Glasgow School of Art and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has received a number of awards including a Scottish Arts Council Scholarship at the British School of Rome. Artist residencies have included working in the Faroe Islands and in Karachi in Pakistan.

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