Untitled – Lily Macrae

Currently preparing her final degree show, Lily Macrae, is a painting student in her final year at the Edinburgh College of Art (Scotland). She has been making work both in Edinburgh and Vancouver (Canada), during a six months study period at the University of British Colombia.

Actuellement entrain de préparer son exposition de fin d’études, Lily Macrae, est une étudiante de dernière année en peinture au College of Art, Edimbourg (Ecosse). Elle a pu produire des oeuvres à Edimbourg et Vancouver (Canada), au courant d’une période de six mois d’études à l’University of British Colombia.


Can you describe your work?

The Work is currently Untitled

Lily Macrae. ‘Untitled’. 2016. Oil on board.

My practice is heavily process based and revolves around the exploration into the handling and manipulation of paint.  Experimenting with the possibilities of layering, I am constantly exploring transparency and surface, including, excluding and sometimes obliterating the image, navigating the space between figuration and abstraction.

Creating ambiguity through suggestion of form, the duality between the landscape and the figure interests me.  Overall, I want to create an intriguing atmosphere, using layers and intricacies of the landscape and the body as reference.  I intend the traces of form and figure which I leave behind to be subtle, suggesting the memory of instinctual movement and mark making.  My work speaks of the experiential aspect of undertaking a physical, psychological and intellectual journey through the landscape. Exploring memories of space and how the journey relates to the process of painting itself.

What significance does this project have to you?

This is one of the works which I will be including in my degree show at Edinburgh College of Art, so this body of work has huge significance to me.  It is a new way of working, and it marks my moving on from education into working as a practicing artist.

Who or what influences you?

I’m influenced by the female form, and the duality between the figure and the landscape.  These are the two elements I hope come through the work.  The process of painting and revealing this act through the work inspires me.  I want to make complex images which hold the viewer’s attention and which they really have to look at, whilst leaving space for them to make their own interpretations.

What’s the best part about being a woman artist in 2016?

The freedom, opportunities and excitement to make new work, to change opinion and to not be categorized.

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Artist’s Statement

Currently, my practice is heavily process based and revolves around the exploration into the handling and manipulation of paint. Experimenting with the possibilities of layering and the transformative nature of painting, and how this can be revealed through my working process. Applying, removing and covering up the materials, I am constantly exploring transparency and surface, and how to use these elements to portray the female form.

Transitioning between figuration and abstraction, I want use the materials as a tool to depict a bodily presence whilst maintaining a sense of ambiguity, giving a suggestion and trace of form, the figure, or landscape.  Overall creating an intriguing atmosphere.  I want the intricacies of the paint to suggest the flesh of the body and use gestural mark making to convey the memory of instinctual movement. As a female painter, using the female form as subject matter the idea of the male gaze interests me.  I am not however showing the nude in a realist way, instead finding it more interesting to create veiled indistinct images which could stand for a multitude of different forms, using the figure as a way of catching the attention and drawing in the viewer, but leaving ambiguous space for them to bring their own story to the work.

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