Ann McCoy’s Ovum Philosophorum


At some point in every life, the lure of the future is so strong that one must break through the surroundings that once nurtured and sheltered one in order to meet it. When what is inside of us grows too powerful and too vital to be cloistered any longer, we must push through, discarding as waste, what was once a home.

Some say the world was created just this way. Some say the sun is but a giant yolk and the sky a mosaic of eggshell. Ann McCoy explores her own transformation in her most recent exhibition, in which each work features an egg as a symbol of cosmogony, or the creation of the universe. Since one never stops evolving, these paintings represent various times throughout McCoy’s life.
In Mad Mother Realm, a figure that represents McCoy as a child peers at a chaotic underworld from inside an egg, terrified, but even more propelled to leave the sheltering womb of the egg to face it. Works like Sanctuary, and Death of My Father similarly deal with the struggle to let go of one’s parents in order to come into one’s own life. Creating new beginnings out of old circumstances is a process not unlike alchemy, which McCoy has studied extensively for many years.
Inside the greater world we are all little worlds unto ourselves. Everything that happens outside of us we take into our own consciousness, and nothing that happens in our own psyches goes unnoticed in the world. With this in mind, McCoy hopes that what’s incubating inside a new generation is change, change too large to be contained by this world that she says has been corrupted by war and greed, that will push its way up and out into the future.

Marybeth Connaughton