This exhibition of intimate works by Will Maclean is a variation of the School of Art History’s exhibition at St Andrew’s University in November 2012. In the accompanying catalogue, Tom Norman’s illuminating essay places the two groups of new small works into the mainstream context of Maclean’s overall project.
The Post Card Series and The Lantern-Slide Series incorporate elements of layering and collage, and both the cards and the slides are in themselves culturally defining ‘totems’ as Normand explains, deriving from Maclean’s childhood. Whereas the postcards refer to travel in a seafaring community, the lantern slides reference aspects of the war at sea during the period 1939–45.
‘In reflecting upon this exhibition of small works, it is important to recognise the immense scale of the vision that is presented’, Normand remarks. ‘Maclean has explored, in an evocative visual language, the everyday narratives of the Gaelic community; the life and work of a people, the stories of a diaspora, the spirit-world of a margianalised community. In consequence the works in this exhibition both look and feel like reliquaries, holding the relics and tributes of an entire culture.’