Artist Profile: Eimearjean McCormack

Observing the ways in which suspended Rubik’s Cubes and quadrilateral kites are imposed over repeated–but reformatted–images of landscapes compelled me to learn more about the development behind such a surreal-looking, yet systematic-seeming series: Firmament.

‘Firmament’ series. By Eimearjean McCormack. Silkscreen print.

My curiosity led me to inquire the images’ creative source, Irish artist Eimearjean McCormack. She informs me that the initial inspiration for Firmament comes from “the open plane of vast natural environments.” A scenic inventory of rural knolls and mountain lakes, McCormack captured some of these scenes with her Mamiya 7 medium-format camera, but sourced others from glass negatives, found photographs, or slides.

It’s common for McCormack to work with a “particular theme for a prolonged period of time” in order to extensively explore her ideas–hence the same geologic formations and geometric forms getting reworked into various combinations.

‘Firmament’ series. By Eimearjean McCormack. Silkscreen print.

The artist takes a cross-disciplinary approach to her visual art.

“I draw from traditional print processes while also utilizing alternative photographic techniques such as photo intaglio, photogravure, and silkscreen printing,” she details. Lately, she’s been creating artist’s books; bright, botanical prints make up the pages of Efflorescence.

‘Efflorescence’ book project. By Eimearjean McCormack. Silkscreen printed.

Neither the perceived limitations nor the pigeonholing connotations of specific artistic media seem to serve as hindrances for McCormack. While many may view printmaking as an old-fashioned format, she finds ways to reflect the traditional process in contemporary practice by experimenting with new technology and digital media. In her some of her books, inkjet prints are integrated with silkscreen prints. Even the cloudy Irish climate isn’t a hang-up for her pursuit of cyanotypes; she develops blueprints through sun exposure when possible, but because the natural rays can be a rarity for her region, she also utilizes UV lights in the studio.

Out of the breadth of formats she’s employed, McCormack elects screen printing as her favorite, largely due to its versatility. The method grants her the opportunity to use intuition while experimenting with different colors of high saturation.

“The various stages of the process permit spontaneous technical decisions,” she explains, “which often lead to those ‘happy accidents’ that you otherwise might not have conceived.”

New cyanotypes. By Eimearjean McCormack.

The cross-disciplinary journey will only continue further. McCormack, who holds a BFA and MFA in printmaking, is now earning a MFA in graphic design, an educational endeavor that seems only certain to advance her merging of artistic techniques of the past and present on into the future.

All photos courtesy of Eimearjean McCormack.

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