My focus now is the threshold place…

Andrea McLean grew up in the Forest of Dean, a world of earth colours and charcoal smoke drift, a landscape with which she felt at one. Home life, with an abundance of books, and school instilled a love for stories. Her mother introduced her early to Blake, “Blake made me into an artist”, and a childhood of drawing was followed, at 16, by art school at Falmouth and then the Slade.

From the start, art was a way of thinking about life, a portal allowing her to find meaning and structure. A deep interest in mapping developed: human-shaped and imagined landscapes, patchworks of land and water, ancient and modern settlements across time and space. Unsurprisingly, ‘cosmos’ is a word that’s long been close to her.

Now at a turning-point in her art, where space is no longer about an arrangement within a circle or on a surface, her work is becoming less map-like: “My focus now is the threshold place between different spaces which I’m seeing in the canvas”. Each day is full. Inner vision is what she’s trying to show. 

Mapping the Labyrinth, ink, tempera and gold leaf on folded paper, 2022