Overview

Rachel Maclean RSA (Elect) is a multi-media artist. Using film, sculpture, printmaking and photography, she creates outlandish characters and fantasy worlds which she uses to delve into politics, society and identity.

 

Maclean has rapidly established herself as one of the most distinctive creative voices in the UK by creating baroque, hyper-real worlds using green-screen video technology and computer animation. Playing many of the extravagantly costumed characters herself, Maclean spins fables that combine comedy and horror.

Biography

Based in Glasgow, Maclean graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in 2009 and her work came to public attention in New Contemporaries later that year. She has since received significant acclaim, with major solo shows at Arsenal Contemporary, New York; Nassauischer Kunstverein, German; National Gallery; Zabludowicz Collection, London; Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh; Dublin City Gallery; The Hugh Lane, National Gallery of Australia; Artpace San Antonio, Texas; HOME, Manchester and Tate Britain.

 

Her work A Whole New World won the prestigious Margaret Tait Award in 2013; she has twice been shortlisted for the Jarman Award, and achieved widespread critical praise for Feed Me in British Art Show 8 in 2016. She has also worked on a number of TV commissions with the BBC and Channel 4, which include her most recent film commission Make Me Up in  2019; Billy Connolly; Life of a Portrait from 2017;  and Rachel Maclean: The Shopping Centre, Artist in Residence,  Firecrest Films and Channel 4, 2018. Maclean represented Scotland + Venice at the Venice Biennale 2017 with the newly-commissioned work Spite Your Face, on view in Chiesa Santa Caterina; it was commissioned and curated by Alchemy Film and Arts, in partnership with the Talbot Rice Gallery and the University of Edinburgh.

Maclean comments: ‘I make satirical video art and film that comments on the troubling and frequently absurd nature of contemporary existence. Working largely in green-screen, I restage myths and fairy tales in hyper-saturated near futures, touching on issues of national identity, class and gender. On the surface, my work can appear saccharine and inviting, however this belies a darker, more unsettling interior’