Rachel Maclean, an Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) graduate, will be the artist to represent Scotland at one of the world’s most important visual arts events.
The University of Edinburgh and its Talbot Rice Gallery have been selected as one of the partners in Scotland’s entry to the 57th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale in 2017. Each country that participates picks an artist or group of artists to create an exhibition to showcase the best of its native contemporary art scene.
The entry will be a major new film by Rachel, commissioned and curated by Alchemy Film & Arts in partnership with the Gallery and the University. The Gallery will then display the work in early 2018.
Rachel Maclean graduated from the Drawing & Painting – BA (Hons) programme at ECA in 2009. She works across film, print and photography to construct fantastical stories that play with issues of identity, social values and politics. Rachel often plays a colourful cast of characters in her films.
Her work has attracted national attention through her presence in the current British Art Show, which was on display in three Edinburgh venues in 2016 - Talbot Rice Gallery, Inverleith House, and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. She also has an upcoming residency at Artpace, San Antonio and a solo show at HOME, Manchester in late 2016.
This will be the eighth presentation from Scotland + Venice, a partnership between Creative Scotland, National Galleries of Scotland and the British Council Scotland.
Rachel Maclean said: “It is hugely exciting to be representing Scotland at the Venice Biennale. I am honoured to be participating in such a significant international event and can't wait to get started on the new commission.”
Pat Fisher, Principal Curator of Talbot Rice Gallery, said: “We are delighted to be one of the partner organisations presenting Rachel Maclean's work at the Venice Biennale. The University is extremely proud that the audacious work of an ECA graduate will represent her country on a world stage.
Since graduating in 2009 her striking and relevant work has been a great inspiration to succeeding generations of students and staff. The potential for Rachel in Venice is vast. It is a place of decadence and Carnival, of mythical history and masquerade balls. We eagerly anticipate how she will respond to it.”
The 57th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale runs 13th May - 26th November 2017.