Gillian Adair McFarland is a Scottish Visual artist, who studied fine art at St Martins before returning to live and work in Scotland. Completing a postgraduate in art therapy from Edinburgh University, she continued her own practice whilst working as art therapist for 14 years prior to moving south. She currently lives and works between Fife and Leicester.
Most recently McFarland has been awarded funding from the Arts Council to develop new collaborations, notably in glass, some pieces are displayed in this exhibition. McFarland is inspired by the complexities of imagery and making visible the actions of the creative process. An emphaisis is placed on the revelations that occur through the act of looking. Importance is placed on the process of the sustained gaze, the luxury of revisiting, checking out assumptions, making sense of relationships in terms of time and space and deepening an understanding of how things sit in the world. She adds, “I have been most struck by this during a Japanese tea ceremony where the boundaried setting of the tea house emphasised the physical positioning of ones own body. The ceremony ended in the repetition of all that had gone before, an opportunity to reflect on and participate again on experiences past. This resonated as a reflection on where I find myself as I progress past the halfway point of my life.” Her work plays with ideas of acting out, repetition and revision, processes involved evoking links and relationships between composing elements. She is constantly drawn to disturbances in the surfaces of things, surfaces that might physically move the viewer in closer. The qualities of these impacts describe an existence in the world, playing with ideas of a ‘wearing out’ and a ‘holding together.’ The ink blot stains counter the deliberate safety of repetitive action and there is enjoyment in the containment of risk inherent in these works with their obvious reference to Rorschach. The idea of symmetry, of two sides to an image and the replaying of an action to finish a piece appeals to McFarland, offering an opportunity to rewind and reflect on experiences in a different frame with positive and negative imagery.