The Skinny Shop: Rachel MacLean video interview

Rachel MacLean, one of the emergent artists featured in The Skinny Shop's first Culture Label collection, discusses her work and influences

Video by Peter Marsden | 09 May 2012

Rachel MacLean is a digital and video artist based in Glasgow, who graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in 2009. She's exhibited widely to much acclaim at home and abroad, and recently created music videos for Glasgow favourites Errors and The Phantom Band. For the Culture Label collection she produced two new works, a diptych of prints entitled The Innocents and Massacre of the Innocents. She says, “Broadly speaking I’m influenced by visions or depictions of otherworldly, dreamlike or fantasy spaces. The prints are inspired by the Biblical tale – I’ve always been intrigued by the paintings of this scene in art history. Quite often it's depicted in a kind of Mannerist style, almost eroticised, interlocking flesh, these men throwing babies, women clinging onto babies. I quite like that this very violent event is made into something quite sublime or beautiful, glamourised.

“In the images I’m dressed up as cats, but clearly as a human dressed up as cats. I was keen to have quite a strong notion of gender as well, busty sort of beauty queen type figures and then these macho body builder type men interacting in this world. The two images are mirror images – the first one is this kind of arcadia, referencing a pastoral paradise with these figures lounging around drinking coffee and sort of touching each other up, and the second one references the Massacre of the Innocents images. There’s a shift in the tone of the images. I like the idea of these characters becoming these branded, commodified references.”

Buy Limited edition prints of Rachel MacLean's work at

You can buy prints of Rachel's collection at The Innocents (30x40cm, £75; 60x80cm, £150) and Massacre of The Innocents (30x40cm, £75; 60x80cm, £150) are available in limited editions of 25, printed on 310gsm German etching paper and hand editioned on the reverse in silver ink. They are available to buy through the Own Art scheme from just £10 a month.