The Lion and the Lady by Rachel Maclean

Still from Maclean’s film The Lion and the Lady

Artist Rachel Maclean has just been announced as the winner of this year’s Glasgow Film Festival Margaret Tait Award. The award recognises Scottish artists and Scotland-based artists who work within film and moving image in an experimental and innovative way. Named after acclaimed Scottish experimental filmmaker Margaret Tait, the award is supported by Creative Scotland & LUX. It consists of a prize fund of £10,000 and the opportunity to present a new commission at Glasgow Film Festival in 2014.

Glasgow-based Maclean graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in 2009. She works largely in green screen composite video, using colourful props, costumes and sculpture. She is often the only actor in her work, playing a variety of characters that mime to popular music.

28 nominations were received for the award and 7 artists – Michelle Hannah, Rob Kennedy, Rachel Maclean, Sophie Macpherson, Gillian Steel, Sarah Tripp, and Stina Wirfelt – were shortlisted to put forward a proposal for final selection by Glasgow Film Festival’s Margaret Tait panel. Maclean’s proposed film, titled Happy and Glorious, will be a darkly comedic exploration of British national identity. The film will create a discursive space in response to the context of 2014, in relation to the upcoming referendum on Scottish Independence, as well as the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn and the 100th anniversary of the beginning of The First World War.

Rachel was chosen unanimously by the judging panel for the 2013 Margaret Tait Award. The panel said:
Rachel appears most definitely to be on the cusp of something big with upcoming exhibitions this year at the Collective Gallery (Edinburgh) and Edinburgh Printmakers as part of the Edinburgh Art Festival, and a solo show at CCA during the Commonwealth Games in 2014. We find her work extremely unique – it certainly provokes a reaction!

Her proposal was strong and with its relation to national identity, it has a sense of urgency to it and grabs the moment.

Portfolio Manager at Creative Scotland, Amanda Catto said:
We are delighted that Rachel Maclean has been selected as the 2013 Margaret Tait Award winner. The award will allow her the space and time to extend her practice within the medium of film and moving image and to develop partnerships with the film industry. Rachel’s new video work will be a fantastic addition to Glasgow Film Festival which showcases the very best of Scottish, UK and International work.

Maclean said:
I am delighted to have received the Margaret Tait Award and can’t wait to get started on a new video work. It’s a great opportunity to work with GFT and LUX and I am very excited to be a part of Glasgow Film Festival.”

Maclean joins previous winners Stephen Sutcliffe, Anne-Marie Copestake and Torsten Lauschmann for this prestigious award. For more information on the award, please visit here.

Read Rachel’s blog post she wrote on the making of her recent film, Germs for Central Station here.

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