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Bea McMahon, b.1972

Light Cones (past light)2008

The shape of this floor-based sculpture derives from diagrams that represent paths of light; pitch-black in colour, it suggests a black hole. The leather-clad surface is drawn from a 15th century painting by Ercole de’ Roberti.

‘John the Baptist is standing on the World, which has a weird flaky slate-like surface, and then maybe because the painting is hung too high, or his face is badly done you can’t really see his head…it’s all about the feet.’ Bea McMahon

MediumLeather clad cone with cosmic microwave background radiations
Credit LineIMMA Collection: Assisted Purchase Fund:it, 2011
Item NumberIMMA.3324
Copyright For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: [email protected].
Image Caption
Bea McMahon, Light Cones (past light), 2008, Leather clad cone with cosmic microwave background radiations, Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Assisted Purchase Fund:it, 2011

For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: [email protected].

About the Artist

Bea McMahon b.1972

Irish artist Bea McMahon studied mathematics at Trinity College Dublin, mathematical physics at University College Dublin and visual arts practice in Dun Laoghaire College of Art, Design and Technology. McMahon’s visual art practice considers ideas ranging from mathematical theory and physical phenomena to Greek myth, and boundaries such as skin and water. McMahon has exhibited extensively since 2000. She received the Curated Visual Artist Award in 2007.

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Important Notice


We would like to advise our visitors that our Main Reception area is closed for renovation from 22 April until mid-June.  A temporary reception is open on the ground floor next to the original main entrance. While we prepare to open our next exhibition Hilary Heron: A Retrospective on 24 May, there are two exhibitions to see Derry Film & Video Workshop and Self: Determination: Artists Commissions. IMMA’s gardens and café are open to the public.