Rachel Maclean’s work slips inside and outside of history and into imagined futures, creating hyper-glowing, artificially saturated visions that are both nauseatingly positive and cheerfully grotesque. Maclean is a Glasgow based artist working largely in green screen composite video and digital print, often exhibiting this alongside props, costumes and related sculpture and painting.
The Lion and The Unicorn
(2012 / 12m / DV)
The Lion and The Unicorn’ is a short film inspired by the heraldic symbols found on the Royal Coat of Arms of The United Kingdom, the lion (representing England) and the unicorn (representing Scotland). The piece uses representations of both alliance and opposition to explore national identity within the context of the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence. The video features three recurrent characters: the lion, the unicorn and the queen. These figures seem to emerge from disparate genres, including shadowy historical reconstruction, playful nursery rhyme and pragmatic TV interview. Inhabiting the rich historical setting of Traquair House in the Scottish Borders, they are seen drinking North-sea oil from Jacobite crystal, dividing up the pieces of a Union Jack cake and inciting conflict over the mispronunciation of Robert Burns.