Captivated by the idea of the solitary and intensely private nature of creative endeavour, and with a profound sense of connection with the landscape of County Limerick in Ireland where he lives and works, Michael Canning is endlessly fascinated by the significance which attaches to the manipulation of simple materials. In works on paper, sculpture, paintings, prints, books and films he addresses the relationships between history and memory, matter and it’s transformations, the lineage of ideas, and what it means to make an image of something that already exists in the world.
In an ongoing series of works presenting isolated weeds, growing from a foregrounded earthen bank, the rural landscape of County Limerick in the background rolling into the distance, Canning confronts us with the simple beauty of the mundane and the uncelebrated, its habitually unacknowledged presence, its exquisite ordinariness and its innate dignity too. The everyday is extraordinary, he says in these works, and he seeks to prove it so.
Michael Canning studied Sculpture at Limerick School of Art & Design, and at The School of Fine Arts, Athens, Greece, after being awarded the Greek Government Scholarship. He completed an MA in Painting at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin, in 1999. Michael is a lecturer at the Department of Fine Art, at Limerick School of Art & Design, LIT, and has taught on the Sculpture & Combined Media and Painting courses.
He has worked on several printmaking projects since 2010 with Stoney Road Press, Dublin, at The Graphic Studio, Dublin, where he was their 2011 Invited Artist, at Parallel Editions, Limerick, and Chao Printmaking Studio, Beijing where he was one of their 2017 Artists in Residence. In 2007 he was granted a Fellowship by The Ballinglen Artists Foundation. Michael was awarded the Hennessy Craig Prize in 2005 by the Royal Hibernian Academy, and was Artist in Residence at the RHA in 2007.
His work is in private and public collections internationally, including Allied Irish Banks, Bank of Ireland, University of London, The National Self Portrait Collection at University of Limerick, Butler Gallery, Kilkenny, and Limerick City Gallery of Art.