Sensitive studies of human form with power to stop you in your tracks
Kane McLay graduated in 2017 from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee Scotland with a BA Hons in Fine Art during which time he was awarded the John Kinross Scholarship to Florence, Italy. He also studied under the renowned artist and playwright John Byrne at the RSA and his studies then took him to Valencia, Spain where he completed a semester at UPV. Since graduating Kane has been prolific in making new work and has already taken part in groups shows around Scotland including the Royal Scottish Academy Open Show and Royal Glasgow Institute, Glasgow Compass Gallery and Gallery Heinzel, Aberdeen. His work is held in private collections in London, Paris and Vancouver.
“Observing the human form through drawing, painting and printmaking. My aim is to make work that portrays the animalistic and primitive parts of ourselves that make up the ‘being’ in all animal and human life. Our truth. My work resonates with emotional intensity, emphasised using dramatic tonal contrast and abstract mark making, balanced alongside anatomical form and movement to portray the essence and changing presence of our primitive selves. The constant push/pull interplay between objective realism and abstract expressionism is where the need to return to drawing keeps my practice focused, original and true in order to continue developing.”
What We Love About Kane's Work
The breadth of Kane’s skills in painting, drawing and printmaking techniques is impressive and his work can stop you in your tracks! It also allows him to sensitively explore a different point of focus in each study; from the soft folds and creases of an ageing skin to the sculpted frame and vigour of the human body in its prime. The scale of each work directly relates to its mood. Finer studies are often presented as quiet small scale etchings or delicate pencil drawings that invite you to examine them closely – these pieces feel almost voyeuristic as though you’re witnessing an unknown person expressing emotions that range from untempered angst to serene contemplation. The larger works are high impact with raw bold lines that seem to carve at the paper, sculpting precise angles and proportions that capture the primitive in human gesture.
Kane’s work is at its simplest, is an intense study of the magnificent ‘machine’ that is the human body but look closer and the inky, awkward marks and jarring lines make it just possible to access the ‘animal’ that exists within all of us.