Iain MacLean

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Lust to Dust, 10/01/2013 Acrylic, Oils, Canvas, Wood, Sand, Hessian, Pva 200 X 122 X 10 Centimeters © iainMaclean 2014
Human Cargo 6, 28/8/ 2014 Card, Paper, Linen, Wood, Pencil, Acrylic, Pva. 65 X 47 X 2 Centimeters © iainMaclean 2014
Quick Facts
Birth year
Lives in
Works in
Goldsmiths, University of London, 1971
Central Saint Martins - UAL
Representing galleries
None now
new expressionism, erotic, Political, africa, olfactorist, anti-boring, impassionism, mixed-media, modern, figurative, conceptual, sculpture


I was born in Zambia.  My father was Scottish and my mother, a Polish refugee from a Soviet labour camp/gulag.

My earliest influences were African and, to a lesser extent, European art, the latter, from books.  I didn’t see a gallery until I was in my late teens.

I came to England to study fine art at Goldsmiths.  They were struck by my strangely distorted figurative work – reflecting my then love of African carvings, Francis Bacon and Picasso. Like many students at the time (early 70s), I moved away from figurative, to more conceptual work. I started designing a series of “rooms” exploring the senses: smell, touch, sight, audio and even taste.

As I wasn’t British, I had to pay my way through college by working at London theatres. Eventually I left and went to work in advertising. After one exhibition, I threw all my remaining work over New Cross Bridge (near Goldsmiths) and walked away from art.

I did no more art until 2005, when, after the breakup of a very tempestuous relationship, I began a painting eventually called, "The Broken-Hearted.."  All I had was one canvas, two brushes, three tubes of paint and a bottle of scotch.

In 2006/7 I went to Central St Martins ostensibly to find out about new ideas, try different materials and meet other artists. I left without completing the course and really began working.

Alienation finds expression in works such as “From Lust to Dust”, which depicts the crushed body of a mother and child in Darfur, and “Outsider II – Talibanned”, to a work in progress, “Human Cargo”, a huge interactive sculpture in brass measuring 100ft. x 25ft., dedicated to the 12 million Africans who were enslaved and transported to America.

Like Mark Rothko, “I’m not interested in the relationship of colour or form or anything else. I’m interested only in expressing basic human emotions  tragedy, ecstasy, doom, and so on.” 




Exhibited at these venues
Iain MacLean has Exhibited at these venues: