It seems fitting that artist Alan Macdonald, born and brought up in Malawi, one of the least populated areas in South East Africa, now lives and works in a small town not too far from medieval Edinburgh, Scotland. His meticulously crafted images are emblematic of Scottish characteristics - love of nature, history, humour, beauty and surreal scenery - linked together in compelling enigmatic and sometimes foreign imagery.
Often incorporating hyper-realistic contemporary popular culture objects and well-known phrases, Macdonald’s Renaissance style paintings are at once familiar yet strange, inviting close inspection as if asking us to solve an amusing, highly original puzzle. Alan Macdonald acknowledges that, indeed, the solution can sometimes elude him; his skill is to give us hauntingly beautiful pictorial clues which tug on our psyche while making us smile, even laugh out loud while encouraging us to search for our own answers.
Alan Macdonald considers his work a visual journey with a subtext of a sense of adventure and excitement but destination unknown. As he tells us… “There is the belief in every painting that one day, as you set sail, you will find a faraway beach on which to land, avoiding the ragged rocks and inky depths of doubt. On one of the luckier voyages you arrive somewhere that is strangely familiar but which you have never seen before. It is a distant coast of you".
Currently included in the landmark exhibition REALITY, Modern and Contemporary British Painting alongside works by Francis Bacon, David Hockney, Stanley Spencer and Alison Watt among other standard bearers in the art world, Alan Macdonald’s work is in numerous private, public and corporate collections and recently was featured in REALIZED at The Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh.