“Stop-Art” and Signs of the Times p.5

 A look at more ongoing studio work reveals a promising project that has been in development for many years. The Plastics Collection is an elaborate interweave of post-consumer waste. Colourful, indeterminate, and with such a variety of forms, it has been conceived to combine a variety of projects that play on, and with, the serious situation of plastics overproduction in a finite world. The work addresses plastic’s omnipresence: in our oceans, in animal bodies, in the earth, and in our culture.

 

The Pillars recycles founds multi-coloured plastic objects, elements, from everyday life. Each one a vertical conglomerate of plastic jars, where each jar contains so many variegated found plastic elements: bottle tops, twining rope, plastic bags, string, and indecipherable incunabula from the repertoire of oil-based ephemera of the everyday – and so bright, even Day-Glo! These columns are themselves structures made of deconstructed elements, sidelined after use…. Maclean challenges throwaway culture, reconfiguring the castaways into art.

A wall-based work entitled Daily Bread has a grid-like presentation of bread fasteners, each with a date on it, one for each day of the year… The tedium of collecting, of saving and then presenting this as an ensemble, gives way to a near-Zen feeling of completion, of a cyclical ritual process, all done with a common kitchen stable. The work recalls Antony Gormley’s Bed (1980-81) installation with it’s outline of human bodies cut into and made out of 8640 slices of Mother’s Pride bread!  The conceptual and ritual aspect of Maclean’s piece makes it accessible to everybody, a characteristic of all his artworks.

The Pillars, 2015 (detail)

Mixed media

13" x 13" x 76"  

 2017 © ​Maclean

Curatorial Project:

L'Abstraction Now Montréal 2017