Rachel Maclean: Mimi 2021
upside mimi ᴉɯᴉɯ uʍop – or Mimi for short – takes the form of an abandoned high-street shop, sited within the woodland at Jupiter Artland. The artwork is a combination of architecture, sculpture and animation, all seen through the lens of Maclean’s signature aesthetic.
Friendly Trigger Warning: Despite its appearance, Mimi is not suitable for young children.
Mimi represents Maclean’s first foray into outdoor art and is her most ambitious project to date, combining architecture, sculpture and animation.
Maclean took her inspiration from commercial spaces as sites of desire, combining this with the role forests play within fairy tales, being at once places of magic, of danger, of transformation – where the normal rules of daily life no longer apply.
At the end of a woodland path, marked out by giant, heart-sharped emojis, a seemingly abandoned and derelict toy shop reveals itself to be the upside-down world of cartoon princess Mimi. Maclean’s first fully animated heroine, Mimi is a darkly arch character for our generation who invites us into the topsy-turvy world of end-game capitalism; a 21st century fairy-tale about consumerist desire.
Created in dialogue with Jupiter Artland’s ORBIT Youth Council, a panel of teenagers from across Scotland, Mimi responds to the pressures facing young people in the shadow of the pandemic, the rise of online culture and the decline of real-life spaces on our highstreets, in town centres and in the countryside as sites for young people to express, define and discover their own identities.
The unveiling of Mimi was accompanied by a solo exhibition that featured four key works from the last decade of Maclean’s career. The exhibition was accompanied by a public programme that explored themes that are raised within Maclean’s work.
As a continuation of the commission, Jupiter Artland will be touring Mimi across Scotland in 2022.
“I hope that the feeling of the world turned on its head resonates with audiences in these topsy turvy times and offers a surrealist and darkly humorous escape from lockdown life.”
Known for her satirical characters and meticulously crafted fantasy worlds, Rachel Maclean has rapidly established herself as one of the most distinctive creative voices in the UK. Based in Glasgow, Rachel Maclean graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in 2009 and her work came to public attention in New Contemporaries later that year. In 2017, she represented Scotland at the 57th Venice Bienniale.
Credit for Rachel Maclean logo:
© the artist
Image Credits: Amelia Claudia, James Glossop