Catherine Canning began painting in 2004, she has exhibited her work collectively with other artists over many years. She has had three solo exhibitions. ‘In the Waiting Room' is the first major sculpture she has produced for which she was awarded a Distinction at NWRC Derry, where she recently completed a BTEC Level 3 Foundation & Extended Diploma in Art and Design. She lives in Derry.
The idea for this sculpture came from observing her mother in a nursing home, firstly how long she waited for a place to become vacant, then when she became a resident, how she spent hours just sitting waiting; waiting to be helped to bed, to get up in the morning, waiting for meals, medication, visitors, she seemed to have nothing else to do but wait.
Later when her mother became very ill others waited for her to die so they could have her room, and the while process of waiting would begin again for others. This inspired her to write a poem that was later published, called ‘The Waiting Room' (Inch Days, Guildhall Press 213). Although her idea was rooted in the personal, she is more interested in the universal theme of waiting, we often wait for things to begin or end, wait for events, some waited for godot. The only definite occurrence that is waiting for us is death. The sculpture is purposely cracked, broken and torn in places to convey the body decaying and falling apart with age.