Rachel Maclean is a Glasgow based artist who makes videos where she performs her work dressed as different characters lip syncing to previously recorded audio, she also designs prints which feature these characters.
The reason that I am looking into her work is that for my final brief I don’t really have a solid concept down for it but I wanted to look into Scottish Identity/ Culture. I first saw Rachel Maclean’s work when it was part of the Travelling Gallery and it came to college. Her ‘I Heart Scotland’ exhibition which was featured dealt with issues surrounding Scottish and British Identity and Culture.
It had references to the then upcoming Scottish Referendum and the Scottish Commonwealth Games, and other issues concerning Scotland such as Golf, Wind Farms, Oil, The Jacobite Rebellion, Unicorns, and Nessie.
With my work I am thinking about tackling issues such as Scottish stereotypes, what it means to be Scottish and Scotland as a part of Britain. Macleans work is a great point of reference as a way to look into these issues as she deals with them in a serious way, but in a way that is very tongue and cheek. I think that this work is great and does highlight a great number of issues that are important to me and Scottish society.
Another thing that I like about this work is that the artist takes a completely unbiased approach towards it. It was only few months before the Scottish Referendum when I saw this work and it had influenced a number of the pieces in the gallery, however I don’t know what Rachel Macclean’s status was of the whole thing. With her work she managed to highlight the issues that should be important to everyone in Scotland, whereas her views on Scottish/ British politics were completely hidden.
The travelling gallery also featured her video called “The Lion and the Unicorn” which discusses the concept of national identity through three characters, the lion (England), the unicorn (Scotland) and the queen.