Mary Maclean - 13 August to 24 September 2004
Opening 12 August, 7 to 9pm. All Welcome
Mary Maclean presented at Belfast Exposed a series of photographs made in guesthouses and local, work-a-day hotels across Britain. She has pictured interior details and views through windows. Rather than describe the rooms, she evokes memories of times spent in such places, sitting quietly alone in a strange room, looking at the various arrangement of things, looking out the window at nothing in particular. In this way she creates a quiet, meditative space.
Outdoor, suburban scenes are caught within a grey mesh of net curtain. The net appears as a grid imposing visual order upon the organic shapes of the trees and gardens outside. This view of Nature is a view of Nature tamed and it is echoed in the floral patterning of the voiles and interior furnishings. The soft lines of bed covers, lamp shades, curtains and cushions are presented within strict compositions of geometrical shapes, vertical and horizontal lines. In some respects they look like great, undulating, natural landscapes pictured within a frame. As if to draw these interior and exterior views together Maclean has also photographed classical paintings of landscapes presented in ornate frames in domestic situ.
The photographs are printed large-scale, rendering the details life-size. They are reproduced onto sheets of aluminium hand coated with light sensitive emulsion. In one sense, they are grey and abstracted or reduced, in that all the noise of colour is extracted, and have been likened to grisaille drawing or Eighteenth Century steel engraving or mezzotint. But they are also highly reflective, creating the illusion of a deeper space, one which absorbs the characteristics of the room in which they are being shown, they invite physical movement from the viewer in negotiating a point of view.
Mary Maclean studied at Glasgow School of Art, Rijksakademie, Amsterdam and Royal College of Art, London between 1982 and 1988. She has exhibited extensively in the UK, recent shows include 'No particular place to go' Apt gallery, London; 'Home from Home' Southampton University, 'Jerwood Artists Platform' Jerwood Space, London; 'Behind Closed Doors' Seven Worcester Terrace, Bath; 'Foiled' Collins gallery, Glasgow and 'The Difference Between You and Us' Five Years Gallery, London.