31 October - 23 November 2000
LONDON Main Gallery
Will Maclean is the leading box construction artist in the UK. His subject is the sea and all those - fisherman, whalers, explorers and islanders - who live by it and in it. Early this year his exhibition, Cardinal Points came to the end of its tour in Canada and the USA. In November 2001 he will be part of Dundee Contemporary Arts international programme with a major one man exhibition.
His ever expanding reputation won him a recent Creative Scotland Award. This has allowed him to begin experimenting with new materials and techniques, processes which will be evident in many of the new works in Seaways.
There are several new sculptures, in particular a series of 'objects of unknown use'. In their implied practical appearance - a mousetrap catching a fish - they become objects of mixed metaphor, moving with assured wit towards surrealist disclosures. Subtlety and surprise run side by side in much of Maclean's output, bringing a freshness to subjects where ancestral Scottish memories - of the Clearances, amongst others - might otherwise way heavily on the eye, or trigger old angers best left at peace.
The familiar themes remain, as in the richly metaphoric Sea Chant Diptych and other ritual pieces like Herring Relic. Small, exquisitely worked constructions will hang alongside larger wall pieces, while cased objects and free-standing work will enliven the central part of the gallery.
Maclean is represented in major Scottish public collections as well as Robert Fleming & Co, the British Museum and collections in the USA and Canada.
The new publication of Cardinal Points published by the North Dakota Museum of Art, USA will be available on request as is Symbols of Survival, 1992, Duncan Macmillan's book that accompanied Maclean's great retrospective at the Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh.