Māteria Manus by Shania McDonagh

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Runs: 2nd – 18th July, Wednesday – Sunday, 12 – 6 pm.

126 Artist-Run Gallery is delighted to announce our next show opening this Friday – July 2. ‘’Māteria Manus’’ is the debut solo exhibition of recent works by Shania McDonagh.


The show will launch at 6 pm with a limited capacity, tickets are free, but booking is essential. (//bit.ly/364B173) There is no need to book a ticket to visit during regular opening hours (12 – 6 pm, Wednesday – Sunday).


Shania McDonagh a multidisciplinary visual artist from Co. Mayo, in the west of Ireland. In 2020, she graduated with a first-class honours Degree in Contemporary Art from the Centre for Creative Arts and Media, GMIT, and is currently undertaking a Masters in Creative Practice at CCAM.


Her work draws from a variety of disciplines including science, philosophy, literature and mythology. Recently, her study has led her to undertake research placements in the Anatomy Department at NUIG.


McDonagh has won numerous national awards, and in 2020, was awarded the Academic Achievement Award for BA Contemporary Art. In 2015, she was part of the exhibition ‘Mayo God Help Us’, at Claremorris Gallery, selected by Patrick T Murphy, director of RHA and Catherine Marshall, former head of Collections at IMMA. She has exhibited work both nationally; in Dublin city Hugh Lane Gallery, The Hunt Museum Limerick, Highlanes Gallery Drogheda, Cork Vision Centre, and internationally; at The International High School Arts Festival in Tokyo, Japan.


‘’My practice examines The Human and its bodily condition, driven through an obsessive inquiry into concepts of skin, materiality, otherness, duality, and the dimensions and limitations of the physical body. The work is realised through an intensive interdisciplinary approach, incorporating an extensive range of materials and processes, from tapes, glues, foams and found objects to oil painting, photography and wax modelling. I draw from a variety of disciplines including science, philosophy, literature and mythology, and works will often reference art history, religious iconography and historical medical illustration.


I am fascinated by the human form and how we as humans are bound in a way by the extent of our own skins. In an effort to explore how humans can push beyond our mortal coils, I have recently begun employing both digital and augmented realities, exploring and posing the question will the human form die, thrive or learn to co-exist, should these realities become ubiquitous.


Harbouring dualities of real and artificial, inside and outside, presence and absence, life and death, the works probe these existential concerns through an explorative and often playful sensibility. The exhaustive, immersive and unrelenting nature of my studio methodology, manifests as a deep questioning, which efforts to enhance an empathetic fathoming of what it means to be human’.