Monday, 11 May 2015


CLAIRE MCGINLAY has been accepted for 2nd year entry to Glasgow School of Art to study painting & printmaking. She has excelled in her strife for perfection, continuously pushing to break her own boundaries. With a depth in her work achieved through an almost romantic presence, McGinlay speaks to us about how she is preparing for the upcoming exhibition.

Do you find paradise a problematic topic, being that it could be described as a 'fairyland' ideal, potentially compromising the validity of the work?

Yeah I'm trying not to get too caught up on the title because it's really your own interpretation. Like mine is on the vulnerability of "man" but I just found a way for it to relate to paradise. It is quite a cliché, hippie dippie concept. It's quite hard to get away from that ideal of looking at "perfection" and dreamland. But I like that it's quite general. So you can sort of put your own spin on it.

How do you hope to prepare for the show?

Well I need to see the space first. But continuous sketchbooking and development. I'm trying not to use online sources as I feel it distracts me. But I'm referring back to a lot of artist source to develop my work. Like I was looking at "mark de estaban" today who works mainly with photography. I know I want my work to be mainly painting and print based but I think it's important to look to other specialisms in order to develop my work fully.

Do you think that the controversy of a piece directly enhancing the work's value can cheapen its austerity? Keeping this in mind, do you hope to sell any works from the show?

Selling work would be great. But it’s not my main goal for making the work. It becomes too commercial and dishonest if you have that idea of money on your mind. I do think if the work is unappealing it lessens the value to consumerist viewers but it should never be about the value of a piece. Especially in contemporary art it should be about the statement the artist is trying to put across.

What do you mark as your main goal in creating work and what specifically do you hope to inflict upon the viewer in Paradise?

My main goal is to make the viewer react and to think and to create conversation as a result of a piece of work I created. With "Paradise" I really want to bring home the idea of man's vulnerability and our finite existence. I would hate for people to be silent while viewing my work. I want to create an atmosphere and create debate. That’s probably what I hope to inflict on all my viewers.

Tell me about how you will achieve conversation from the viewer being that viewing painting/printmaking works is typically a solemn event.

It's actually really hard. I'm still at the initial stages of creating my work. The viewer, I suppose, has to first be able to relate to the work and feel from the work. It might mean creating an interactive piece that people can get involved in. But that's just an idea. We shall see what I come up with in the next two months.

You are going in to study painting & printmaking at GSA. How do you feel this establishment and its community will progress your work?

I'm so excited to work with the printing facilities. The equipment can be expensive so the idea of being able to take advantage of the expertise from the lecturers and the equipment is amazing. In the department there is a sense of independence from the students. There is less of a reliance on lecturers and a freedom to explore your own skill and ideas. Obviously that doesn't mean there isn’t structure. The lecturers are all fully qualified artists and one a turner prize nominee. I feel I will be learning from the best. I hope I can take their teachings on board which will steer my work into the direction of greater and better things. It's a really exciting environment. Just the idea of working away in my little studio space with a whole range of creatives around me, I can't even begin to explain how amazing that feels.

Learn more about Claire McGinlay by following the link to her page and visiting her social media outlets. You can also continue to keep up to date with the exhibition by following our instagram @paradise_exhibition and the blog




Article by Emma Hislop

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