The Queen


As the nation prepares to make one of the biggest decisions in its history, a new exhibition is set to offer a unique take on Scottish identity to schools around the country.

I Heart Scotland, a solo show by Scottish artist Rachel Maclean, explores national pride and local history through a quirky collection of print and film in response to the upcoming Referendum on Scottish Independence.

Launching in the Travelling Gallery today the exhibition features a series of prints, commissioned and published by Edinburgh Printmakers, which make surreal reference to historical figures, politicians and national stereotypes, from picturesque Scottish landscapes to Clyde the Commonwealth Games mascot.

Rachel Maclean is the only actor in the work, where she mimes to audio taken from Hollywood films, political speeches and TV interviews, and in her film ‘The Lion and The Unicorn’, which plays as part of the exhibition.

I Heart Scotland will now tour schools and community centres around Edinburgh, the Lothians and Scotland in the Travelling Gallery, offering pupils the opportunity to experience Maclean’s dark and playful reading of contemporary Scottish identity.

Culture Convener Councillor Richard Lewis said: “This engaging and thought-provoking exhibition is a sight to behold and will no doubt inspire discussion amongst all those who experience it.

“2014 is an incredibly important year for Scotland and its young people, who will see decisions made that could shape their future and that of generations to come. Art like this is the perfect way to get young minds thinking about the Referendum and I look forward to hearing how the tour goes.”

The Travelling Gallery is a custom-built, mobile art space inside a bus supported by City of Edinburgh Council, Creative Scotland and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, which brings high quality contemporary art exhibitions and events to schools and communities throughout Scotland.

Commenting on her invitation to exhibit in the gallery, Rachel Maclean said: “I am delighted to be able to bring I Heart Scotland to schools around the country. National identity is important to everyone, regardless of age, and I hope my work will get children thinking about their nation.”

For more information on dates and locations for the tour of I Heart Scotland, visit the Travelling Gallery’s website.

Rachel Maclean is an artist based in Glasgow. Since graduating from Edinburgh College of Art in 2009 she has exhibited across the UK and internationally. She recently premiered Over The Rainbow, a 40-minute video piece for Collective Gallery’s New Work Scotland Programme, and Germs, a short film for Channel 4 Random Acts, commissioned by Bold Yin Ltd. She is also the recipient of the Margaret Tait Award 2013.

During 2012 Rachel was commissioned by Edinburgh Printmakers to produce several new works, including The Lion and The Unicorn, a short film for the Reflective Histories group exhibition at Traquair House. She additionally presented solo shows at Generator Projects, Dundee and Metro Arts, Brisbane.