Mary Kavanagh is a visual artist, scholar, and educator whose work encompasses installation, video, photography, drawing, and sculpture. With a background in art history and critical theory, her art practice has been shaped by the aesthetic and social histories of representation and abstraction, by conceptualism and autoethnography.
Kavanagh’s early work was largely concerned with embodiment and memory with projects focused on the intersection of personal and political narratives. More recent projects involve extended immersion in sites with complex or difficult histories, and utilize research-centric methods such as field work, community engagement, investigations of material evidence, and archival practices.
Kavanagh’s artwork is exhibited across Canada and internationally. With projects in Japan, Italy, the United States (New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Alaska), and Canada, her work has taken her to remote locations including military bases, weapons testing and research facilities, industrial ranching operations, and sites of mining extraction and remediation. These opportunities have resulted in multi-faceted exhibitions that explore the boundaries of access to publicly held lands, institutions, and data.