Media Release: Award-winning artist to give free talk

Will Maclean

AN internationally-renowned Scottish artist is to give a free talk in Findhorn this month.

Originally from Inverness, Professor Will Maclean MBE, has won numerous awards and had his work exhibited around Scotland as well as in London, Canada and America.

He will be speaking on Thursday 1 November as part of the University of the Highlands and Islands’ ‘Our Guest’ public lecture series, which, this year, looks at the regions’ culture.

Having spent time as a midshipman and ring-net fisherman in the 1960s, Professor Maclean’s art, which includes painting, sculpture and pieces made from found objects, is particularly influenced by people who have lived and worked by the sea.

It is based on themes of navigation, emigration, whaling and fishing and exploration.

Professor Maclean was awarded a Scottish Natural Heritage Supreme Award for three memorial sculptures on Lewis and has a piece of art permanently displayed in the Scottish Parliament.

His services to education and art have also been recognised with an MBE and he is a member of the Royal Scottish Academy.

With a strong interest in Scottish culture, Professor Maclean, who is an honorary fellow of the university, will be delivering his talk on artists of the Highlands and Islands from 1745 to the present day.

He will give some historical background to Highlands and Islands painting and sculpture, before highlighting some of the region’s most prominent past and contemporary artists.

Speaking about the lecture, Dr Neil Simco, dean of the faculty of arts, humanities and business at the university, said: “We are delighted to be able to welcome Professor Maclean to the university for this public event, particularly at a time when we are planning significant growth within our curriculum offer across the creative industries.

“Professor Maclean’s deep routes within the culture and heritage of the Highlands and Islands chime with the mission and vision of the university and, across a wide variety of our programmes, we too seek to reflect the richness of our region’s cultural landscape.”

Robert Livingston, director of Hi-Arts, added: “As both artist and teacher Will Maclean has been an inspiration to countless artists, in Scotland and abroad, in demonstrating how it’s possible for art to engage with and illuminate the textures of human history and experience, whether that be an industry like ring-net fishing or momentous events such as the Lewis Crofters’ War.”

Professor Maclean said: “I am honoured to have been invited as a speaker and I hope that, as a visual artist, I might contribute to the theme of the region’s culture.”

Professor Will Maclean’s talk, ‘My mind is with the drawing: some notes on artists of the Gàidhealtachd, 1745 to the present day’, takes place from 5:15pm to 7pm at the Universal Hall in Findhorn on Thursday 1 November.

To book a place at this free lecture, call the university on 01463 279344 or email


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