This print by Will Maclean was created as part of a folio titled “A Night of Islands”, which consists of works to accompany poems by Scottish artists. This piece accompanies the poem, “A Highland Woman” by the Gaelic poet Sorley MacLean.
This etching includes a number of thematic elements taken from the poem, including the landscape, a woman’s head and a gravestone. The seaweed used to create the frame is a reflection of the youth of women wasted in years of thankless tasks, such as gathering of kelp. The composition is evocative of a bleak and unforgiving life leading to the joyless release of death.
Born in 1941 in Inverness, Will Maclean's family was involved in the traditional industries of fishing, seafaring and crofting, and his work is influenced by his concern with the environment, community and work and the living experiences of Highland communities. After working as a midshipman and ring-net fisherman in the 1960's he attended Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen, now part of Robert Gordon University, and the British School in Rome.
In 1981 he joined the staff of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee. His has exhibited work across Britain, Europe and North America. His services to education and art have also been recognized with an MBE and he is a member of the Royal Scottish Academy.
Will's work includes paintings, sculpture and pieces made from objects he has found, particularly influenced by people who have lived and worked by the sea. Now retired from teaching he lives in Tayport in Fife with his artist wife, Marian Leven, who he met when they were both studying at Gray’s School of Art.
With thanks to Art First for information about this artist
Further information on Sorley MacLean