Jerwood Artists Platform: Mary Maclean

Mary Maclean

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Mary Maclean’s exhibition, of large-scale silver gelatin prints on aluminium, brings together two new strands of work, empty domestic interiors that explore the spaces in which people live and images of mass-produced, cheaply-framed, oil paintings depicting idealized landscapes to which they would like to escape.

Created by printing directly onto aluminium panels brushed with photosensitive emulsion, the resulting works have a sombre and monumental presence. The sheen of the aluminium gives the washed out black and white tones an unexpected depth and luminosity, combined with a tactile surface from the brushed silver gelatin.

Virtually lifesize, the works make visible and strange the overlooked and unremarkable. Photographing interiors as she finds them, Mary Maclean’s skill lies in her masterly cropping and composition of the image. With an unblinking photographic gaze, the works draw the viewer into haunting scenes to observe every worn surface, every fold of fabric.

Mary Mclean, State, 2003. Image: courtesy of the artist