Standing on the Shoulders of Giants is an exploration of the transformative quality of found-object and medium.
It is typical to find the transfer of images within McMenemy’s artistic process. Mixed media is no stranger to the artist’s practice and iconic style. In this case however, McMenemy has substituted her own photographs for found-object; namely a thirty year-old phonebook found in an abandoned motel in Death Valley, California.
Tearing pieces from the book to create a foundation, she applies layers of colour and texture to the canvas to create the massive rows of birch trees we see in the finished project. Quite subtle upon first glance, the names and numbers are hidden under the fresh green and ochre pigments. Maintaining the flatness and geometrical simplicity of its reference material, the trees are abstracted into segments of colour in between colossal branches.
Given a second chance to have meaning and purpose again; this phonebook: an object rendered entirely useless over time, has become something new. Names and addresses that otherwise have no relation to one other are connected in secret. This idea furthers McMemeny’s ongoing exploration of how art and the natural world unites all things; plant and beast, the past and the present.