For twenty years the accumulation of plastics has taken ever-increasing space in the artist’s studio and the idea of “up-sourcing” it as the subject and the building block of this series has gradually taken shape. The backdrop of this project has been the relationship between industrial production/consumption and the biosphere that supports our civilisation in an unprecedented age of abundance. The residue of our modern industrial world just keeps piling up.
Plastic represents the age where material abundance and petroleum go hand in hand. It is the ultimate of all disposable matter and yet, its destructiveness stems from its insidious persistence, an enduring legacy as its value slips toward worthlessness and worse. Maclean’s response has been to transform single-use disposability into artistic forms that speaks to the anti-accomplishments of our civilisation supposedly at its peak. It is a depiction of throw-away culture and the schemes required to keep it rolling. The process behind these works is primarily that of collecting, accumulating, and eventually transforming what is essentially junk, through a long and drawn-out program of storage, sorting and repetitive action.
“It is how I have tried to make sense of a certain madness. It may just be the practice of a post-modern consumer, collector, hoarder, monger, swindler, and dupe, but… it had to be done!” - Maclean