Jenny Mc Namara Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom
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Jenny Mc Namara (b. 1994) is a visual artist from Dublin and based in Newcastle. Her practice focuses on visual perception, pattern and how we see and understand imagery. The sculptures she makes are pattern machines – experimentation between surface, space and colour.

I’ve started thinking about the sculptures I make as pattern machines – experimentation between surface, space and colour. I aim to create new patterns through optical illusions in space, often using reflective surfaces and lenses. I like to take the patterns made in my sculptures and bring them back into 2D through photography, print and painting.

The process between 2D and 3D interests me, the way that a 2D image of our 3D environment is projected onto the retina and is built back up into a 3D representation of the world by the brain. It takes just one fifth of a second to see something, compare it to everything you’ve seen before, understand it and decide if you like it. In my work, I try to consider the mind of the viewer as one of the materials.

How we experience shape and colour is important to me. The mechanics of visual processing are fascinating; the visual scenes we perceive are first split up by the brain into separate elements like colour, scale, orientation and contrast edges. For example, there are groups of cells in the occipital cortex at the back of the brain that only handle colour and groups that only handle motion. Once all these separate features are processed, they are put back together and understood at higher levels of processing.

Understanding the way we perceive visual scenes better informs the creation of my work. I encourage audience involvement by manipulating the modular way that the eyes and brain process vision. I’m also interested in minimalism and minimalist theory, which marked a shift in art from object to experience. One of my big research questions is: considering the modular way the brain processes visual scenes, can minimalism promote a more direct and positive visual experience?

Please do not invite me to apply for opportunities with a participation/application fee


Tunnel Vision, LED light, steel , 2021


Neon LED sign commission , LED light, 2021


Pattern/Form I, II & III, Gouache, 2020


Three Reflective Forms , Wood, vinyl, lino, LED light , 2019


Pink and Orange , Fluorescent light, glass blocks, 2019


Projects and exhibitions


Tunnel Vision - commission Cheeseburn Sculpture/Arts Council

01/12/2020 — 01/07/2021

A sculptural commission for Cheeseburn Sculpture's 2021 summer sculpture trail programme

Cheeseburn Sculpture, Northumberland Details

Red + Green = Yellow

04/11/2020 — 22/03/2021

An experimental exhibition which explores visual communication through imagination, abstraction and making. The show was curated by Jenny Mc Namara and Niomi Fairweather

Through an open call, artists Abi Freckleton, Catriona Beckett, David & Melissa Eveleigh-Evans, James Ellis and Theresa Poulton were selected to make a new work as a visual...

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The NewBridge Project, Gateshead Details
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