Maclean’s work slips inside and outside of history. In The Lion and the Unicorn she takes us in and out of the Scottish Independence debate, now a subject of history.
A central strand of Maclean’s work addresses the ideals of Scotland and Scottishness and their reality as portrayed by contemporary mass media. The Lion and the Unicorn is a short film in which three archetypal characters debate points of view on nationalism, trade and finance, natural resources and politics. They each use Scotland’s history to expound their arguments, yet their views cannot be reconciled. Maclean uses costumes, makeup and digital retouching to embody each of these Scottish national stereotypes. The video uses audio from television broadcasts, dubbed over Maclean’s performances: the Lion is given Jeremy Paxman’s voice and the Unicorn Alex Salmond’s, as they squabble over the future of Scottish governance.
Rachel Maclean, born 1987 in Edinburgh. Lives and works in Glasgow.
Maclean has had solo exhibitions at Zabludowicz Collection, London (2014), Edinburgh Printmakers (2013), Collective Gallery, Edinburgh (2013), Trade Gallery, Nottingham (2013) and Generator Projects, Dundee (2012). In 2013, Maclean received the Margaret Tait Award for her contribution to Glasgow Film Festival and was shortlisted for the Film London Jarman Award. Her work has also been shown at the State Museum of Urban Sculpture, St Petersburg, Russia, Tramway, Glasgow, Kunstarkaden, Munich, Germany, Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh, the Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh and as part of Glasgow International Festival. She has a BA in Drawing and Painting from Edinburgh College of Art. She will represent Scotland at the 2017 Venice Biennale.
Curated by Helen Nisbet