Madeline Mackay


I grew up in the far North of Scotland and completed my BA (hons) in Fine Art at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee in 2012. Since graduating my work has been shown regularly by a number of galleries across the UK, and has been included in exhibitions run by national art institutions such as the Royal Scottish Academy, the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour and the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers. I have completed several artist residencies both in Scotland and internationally, including in Canada and Finland. I began my MFA in printmaking at the University of Alberta in 2015.


During the first year of my masters studies my gaze has moved closer and closer to the ground. The microcosms that can be uncovered at this level are both intensely specific and startlingly revealing, telling stories about the structures and systems that support us and illuminating unexpected things about what constitutes biological life, and about what it means to be life. To me the most important aspect of these microcosms are the moments of transition between life and inanimate matter and the rarely acknowledged fluidities that exist between the two. These spaces of ambiguity at the edges of things raise questions about typical conventions of how the world is perceived. They carry an uneasy attraction, being neither here nor there, with no clear hierarchy or even delineation between the animate and the inanimate.

My recent work explores these spaces. By blending photographic and drawing techniques in my printmaking practice I have pushed my images towards a place where the autographic and the photographic mark are often indecipherable, creating ambivalent spaces within the picture plane that are neither abstract nor fully readable as real space. My imagery is pulled from the dual sources of land and animal forms and it is through working the images and the balance of drawing and photography that I break down the distance between the two and the separate identity of each. In this way I push both land and animal closer to the in-between space of flux where land is live and life is matter.

Video work

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