Mairéad McClean uses material from a diverse range of sources in her films: found footage, historical and family archives, filmed performances and televisual media, appear in many of her single screen films and installations. Her work often features people as they cope with forms of control. Whether the camera follows actual events or follows enactments by a performer, people are seen to challenge or circumvent authority or to improvise with their own actions.
McClean, currently works between Northern Ireland and Bath, UK.
I have produced films and installations for galleries and museums since 1989 and have received awards in the UK, Ireland, France and Russia. In April 2021, I was selected as official Artist in Residence for the Beyond 2022 Archive Project as part of the Decade of Centenaries Programme in Ireland running in collaboration with Trinity College Long Room Hub, Dublin and the Virtual Record Treasury Ireland. This project is ongoing until 2023/24.In 2018, I was commissioned by The Wapping Project, London to produce a multi-screened installation called, Making Her Mark, (2018) and a film called A Line Was Drawn(2019) which used the poetics of performance to explore the concept of borders from multiple viewpoints. This work was filmed and exhibited in a solo show in The Outer Hebrides in August 2018 and shown at The BFI London Film Festival, Experimenta, 2019. My video work, No More, (2013), exploring questions around the introduction of Internment without trial in Northern Ireland in 1971, won the inaugural MAC International Art Prize, Belfast in 2014. Other recent notable exhibitions and screenings include: The Centre Cultural Irlandais, Paris:A Nation Under The Influence: Ireland at 100 (2022), The Border, Deutscher Künstlerbund e.V , Berlin, 2020, The Whitechapel Gallery, London, 2020, The Now & After Exhibition, Video Art Festival, Fabrika, Moscow 2017, The International Film Festival Faces of Conflict, Pittsburgh, USA, 2016, and CCA Glasgow: The Shock of Victory, 2015. No More is held in the National Collection of Ireland at The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin and The Arts Council of Northern Ireland. As of 2023, Making Her Mark is in The Arts Council of Irelands Collection.
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