Eilish McCann's work is figurative and often contains a narrative element, depicting scenes from everyday life threaded through with social issues such a homelessness, migration and the female experience.
A key facet of her practice is appropriating found material. This material includes images sourced online and from news media, as well as her own photographs. McCann selects her subjects intuitively, though she is predominantly drawn to poses or scenes that hold a contradiction; that both contain and query a particular emotional state. She then interprets these images through her painterly process, and while these contradictions won’t necessarily be resolved they can be drawn out and explored further.
This process of unfolding and inquiry is a way of spending time with her subjects; even if they can’t be understood entirely, they can still be examined and expanded upon.
Currently, her paintings are concerned with the pervasive alienation caused by our work-driven and technology-centred society that sees human beings living at a remove from nature. McCann’s practice, by honing in on the contradictory elements of human nature and everyday living, goes some way in counteracting this alienation and displacement.