Stephen McLaren

Stephen McLaren interlocking masks

I have worked as an artist in Scotland for 22 years. I graduated from Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen in 1990 and ever since I have sold and exhibited work throughout Scotland. Last year saw me exhibit at the Scottish Academy and the Glasgow Institute.

This summer has seen me go back to work on art I created several years ago. The constructions you can see at Inchmore Gallery come from the land and from the trees.

An old blacksmith’s cottage where I once lived provided me with brilliant material to work with. The woodlands where I used to walk were full of old bark and the combination of nature and man-made objects helped me to create six constructions in all.

The four constructions on show here have moved with me through the years untouched and almost forgotten – but now in 2012, two of them had severe face-lifts to make them ready for this show and one had a trip to the ‘hairdresser’ because some pieces of bark had fallen out like a balding man! I decided to stop the natural process of deterioration so that the work could look at its best one more time.

Everything in the constructions is found and recycled – even the wire and nails holding the parts together. Living again in the countryside has meant that I could rework these faces with different found material so that they now feature things from two periods in my life. They have in a way grown up and changed with me!

The painting which accompanies the constructions is an old, once hidden away drawing which features the Celtic inspired work which I created towards the end of the 1990’s. I always admired the art of the Celts and for a few years I tried to create my own Celtic style. The old drawing has been reborn as a new painting and it now goes on show for the first time.

All of these pieces were specifically reworked for the group exhibition “If you go down to the woods today”, opening in September 2012. Stephen works in other mediums, using different styles, and some of these other works will be available throughout 2013.