Shauna McMullan, Travelling the Distance, 2004

Shauna McMullan (b.1971 Northern Ireland, lives and works Glasgow)

Porcelain sentences installation

This artwork is a collection of 100 handwritten sentences made of porcelain. The sentences were collected by the artist on a journey around Scotland to meet 100 women. Each of the 100 women was asked to write something about a woman they felt had made a significant contribution to life, culture or democracy in Scotland. The artist asked each woman to refer her to another woman, which was the basis for the artist's journey until she reached the 100th woman.

Porcelain sentancesThe artist is interested in the relationship between art and geography, and in the significance of oral histories to the history of a nation, and these interests were key to the development of this commissioned work.

The sentences are made from porcelain, a material often considered fragile, but which can have different strengths and qualities depending on how it is made. Each sentence depicts the handwriting of the individual woman who contributed the sentence.

The artwork was commissioned by the Scottish Goverment to celebrate the contribution of women to Scottish society and pay tribute to those who had campaigned for equal suffrage.

Artist biography

Shauna McMullan studied Sculpture in Cheltenham, followed by a Masters degree at Glasgow School of Art, where she now works part-time as a lecturer in the Department of Sculpture and Environmental Art. In 1997-8 she was awarded the then Scottish Arts Council's Scholarship at the British School at Rome.

She has exhibited nationally and internationally, including 'Strolling' at The Museum of Art, Heide, Melbourne and 'You Could Be Anywhere', at Galerie Lucien Durand Le Gaillard, Paris. She exhibited at the 'Crossovers' exhibition at The Toyota Museum of Art as part of Japan's 2005 Aichi World Expo.

Public commissions have included a permanent public sculpture for The Met Office entitled 'Windbourne', and for the BT Headquarters in Edinburgh the artwork ''Between the Words'.

In 2010, the artist worked with the Glasgow Women's Library on the Blue Spine project, an installation at the Mitchell Library, Glasgow, that involved collaborating with hundreds of individual women across Scotland.