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Aidan McNeill was born in Toronto, Canada and lives and works in London, UK.

Her photographic practice investigates how the creative act reforms relationships with nature during periods of technological dominance. Ongoing interests are the notions of surface distance, from the relationship between humans, the environment and particular boundary points, to the material surface of the photographic image and aesthetic distance. Her research methodology originates from a geographical, mythological and historical foundation.

Aidan McNeill is an MA graduate from Central Saint Martins School of Art (2006). She previously completed her BA (Hons) from Sir John Cass School of Art, London Guildhall (2003). A selection of her works are included in the 2013 publication Nature Morte by Michael Petry, published by Thames & Hudson, and images from her recent series Core Crops (Borders Between) have been awarded Gold in Prix de la Photographie, Paris, and were exhibtied at the Canadian High Commisssion in London, UK.



General Enquiries: info@aidan-mcneill.com

Exhibition Information & Press: PayneShurvell Gallery, London




This project is about the search for the missing, diving into code, extraction and translation, locating, transformation and the creation of rot.

Interweaving the history and lore of the 1804 sinking of Schooner Speedy off the shore of Lake Ontario, the geomagnetic explorations by the Canadian radio engineer Wilbert B. Smith and the artist's birth place familiarity, all trine at one site to explore the layers of story and myth that have formed and continue to evolve Canadian identity over the last 200 years.


Sophiasburg Vortex









Core Crop 5781, Giclée print, 91.5 cm x 91.5 cm



Core Crop 342, Giclée print, 91.5 cm x 91.5 cm



Core Crop 338, Giclée print, 91.5 cm x 91.5 cm



CAST, 2011

Referencing both the Romantic tradition and the romance of the theatre, CAST explores spectacle and artifice within photographic imagery.

Taken during a West End musical, Love Never Dies, these images capture the smoke, lighting effects and the performers follow-spot shadows on the foreground of the theatre stage. While the photographs seem to document an ethereal world of shadow and light, with an underlying geometric mapping plane, closer inspection reveals prop tape, scratches and lines of trap doors highlighting the overall mechanics of the whole within this systematic collaboration of production.

Performance 349 is a video recorded from the live feed of the Musical Director conducting the orchestra of this major West End Musical. Contrasting with the Director's impassioned gestures, the film is sound-tracked by a stream of letters and numbers as the Deputy Stage Manager calmly and simultaneously calls into action an intricate pattern of lighting and visual effects carried out by the technical team that recreate the drama on stage.

Ideas of authorship and spectacle are questioned, so that the onlooker's role takes center stage in a complex interplay of placement, manipulation and control.



Revolve II, C-type print, 85 cm x 140 cm


Revolve IV, C-type print, 85 cm x 140 cm


Revolve I, C-type print, 85 cm x 140 cm

Performance 389

Performance 349, DVD PAL 4:3, 02:09:18, projection dimensions variable, video still 03





Wrappings explores identity, process and the mediums of photography and sculpture, which have long intersected in complex ways historically, theoretically and aesthetically.

At the sculpture department at Central Technical School in Toronto, students sculpt portrait busts out of clay. This process carries over for many weeks, and in the intermediary stages the busts are protected with wrappings of damp cloths and plastics to keep the clay from drying out. This stage of the process imbues them with mystery as the clay breathes underneath the formed layers and the resulting condensation drips beneath the underside of the plastics.

The materials found to preserve these works in progress are assembled seemingly without the same formulated attention as that given to their potential creations. However these wrappings seem to express more about each individual student than the evolving clay forms beneath.



Suki, C-type print, 76 cm x 76 cm


Richard, C-type print, 76 cm x 76 cm


Brigitte, C-type print, 76 cm x 76 cm




Non-Native Invasive explores issues of displacement, orientation and belonging.

The individual works in this series are larger than life-size root system portraits of invasive plants that arrived by human activity to the UK.

The series is the culmination of research gathered about Schedule 9, which was a proposal to add on 70 non-native species to the existing register by the Department of Environment and Rural Affairs, UK.

Searching out the plants that are listed as invasive within the UK led the artist to the Chelsea Physic Garden which became the source of many of the resulting images. A garden founded in 1673 by the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries for its apprentices to study the medicinal qualities of plants, it became one of the most important centres of botany and plant exchange in the world.

All the roots were carefully extracted, tidied of soil and flatbed scanned within a custom-made darkroom. The images have been divided between light and dark. Japanese Knotweed roots burrow to such depths and widths that a full extraction wasn't attempted. Instead the scans of these root portions were inverted to explore the shadows and light of their potentiality as they journey off the edges of the frame.


Japanese Knotweed, Invasive

Non-Native Invasive No.01(Japanese Knotweed), unique C-type print, 140 cm x 102 cm


Allium Paradoxum (Alien Invasive No.01),C-type print, 41 cm x 41 cm


Smyrnium Perfoliatum (Alien Invasive No.02/2), C-type print, 41 cm x 41 cm


Australia, India, Japan, New Zealand, North and South America, C-type print, 30 cm x 30 cm



RELEASED, 2006-2013

Released is an ongoing series comprised of photographs of catch-and-release Carp Anglers that are active within the old Thames Water reservoirs located in East London. The videos are composed from images that are published in issues of UK catch-and-release carping magazines.

The photograph sits at the center of catch-and-release fishing, both a verification of achievement and a visual manifestation of the trophy; a memento of that which has been preyed upon with patience, withdrawn and exposed from the hidden depths, held, documented and then returned until the next hook.



Walthamstow wait (Lot 705, East London reservoirs), C-type print, 60 cm x 46 cm


Walthamstow wait (Lot 940, East London reservoirs), C-type print, 60 cm x 46 cm


Walthamstow wait (Lot 900, East London reservoirs), C-type print, 60 cm x 46 cm


Released, DVD PAL 4:3, 00:010:00 loop, projection dimensions variable, video still 03




The series Falling West is set at the westernmost point of the European continent, Cabo da Roca in Portugal. It is an exploration of geographical pilgrimage and the sculptural transformation of the camera-prepared body.

The final wall built at the edge of the cliff draws steady streams of people all year round. The visitors claim the area as a cultural point, as well as the most distant point at which we can easily exert influence over our solid environment. Beyond this point, the transitory depth of the ocean may be a reminder, perhaps a memento of the natural that evades control and capture.

Such marker sites serve as magnets, drawing people to them. The structure of this place has been mapped out over time by those who walk through the environment, leaving an imprint of their route. This process indicates how one can replicate images and become part of the collective experience.



Israel/Portugal (Falling West), Duratran print, 34 cm x 34 cm


Japan (Falling West), Duratran print, 34 cm x 34 cm


Portugal/Canada (Falling West), Duratran print, 34 cm x 34 cm


Monument, DVD PAL 4:3, 00:57:00 loop, projection dimensions variable, video still 02




HA image1

HA image2

Still Life 02

Still Life 01




CAST, PayneShurvell, London

Novas Gallery

Falling West, Novas Gallery, London

Ogilvy Install

The Bathers, Ogilvy & Mather, Canary Wharf, London



All images © Aidan McNeill. All rights reserved 2017