Enclosure Architectures

by Conor McGrady




The drawings focus on the idea of enclosure, and examine architecture as a signifier of social order. Referencing structures that are built to enclose, encapsulate or fortify, their roots lay in an exploration of defensive and prison architecture from the period of recent conflict in the north of Ireland. In this and related geopolitical contexts, aspects of the built environment operated as an ocularcentric framework for surveillance, containment and control of subversive populations.

The structures depicted reference the architecture of prisons and military installations; constricted spaces that embody the language of armour and operate as representations of ideological enclosure. Drawing on the visual language of modernism, these built structures fuse the modernist vision of architecture as an indicator of social progress with the language of force, secrecy and the visual domination of space. Here, hybrid architectonic structures become enclosures or quasi-monumental edifices that function as receptacles of power, and operate as defensive bulwarks against its loss.

(Text by Conor McGrady).


Conor McGrady is an artist from Northern Ireland whose work examines the relationship between ideology and spatial control.

01


The Nation Builders, Gouache on Paper, 244 x 379cm, 2010.

Image courtesy of the artist. Photo by Kevin Noble.

02


Restriction, Gouache on Yupo Polymer Paper, 28 x 36cm, 2014.
Image courtesy of the artist.

03


Retreat I- Series 2, Gouache on Translucent Yupo Polymer Paper, 59 x 89cm, 2014.

Image courtesy of the artist.

04


Red Cell,Gouache on Paper, 28 x 36cm, 2012.

Image courtesy of the artist. Photo by Kevin Noble.

05


Structure IV, Gouache on Yupo Polymer Paper, 28 x 36cm, 2012.

Image courtesy of the artist.