The best art often involves revisiting: going back to a sunset or a remembered smile. A cave painting recalls a hunt, evokes animal deities, and contains the power to transform the future. These ancient painted-pigments were offerings to what was loved and feared. Often it is the same thing. McAulay’s work has this primal power too, connecting us with our universal need for home and love: re-spinning our memories with painterly magic.
The estate McAulay revisits in this latest body of work contains the architectural strength of buildings: tower blocks that both protect the people who live in them, and also ensnare them in concrete and stone. Among the forest of buildings are lurking-shadows and faces in windows. People inhabit doorways or narrow alleyways, alone and in small groups.
McAulay’s latest works also contain beauty. In High-rise View, buildings glow under an orange sunset and, just outside this, beyond the estate, are parks. Here rewilding begins. McAulay and the viewer reconnect with nature. The more I look at these latest paintings, the more I am reminded that all of us are wild things. Man, woman, child and estate all eventually weave together.
Tony Davidson, Director Kilmorack Gallery