Scottish artist Rachel Maclean launches a bold jewellery collection with Tatty Devine

It’s being released in conjunction with her solo show in Germany
Rachael Maclean wearing ring and brooch from Tatty Devine collectionRachael Maclean wearing ring and brooch from Tatty Devine collection
Rachael Maclean wearing ring and brooch from Tatty Devine collection

Glasgow-based artist Rachel Maclean’s is one of Scotland’s most exciting artists.

Anyone who’s watched the film, Spite Your Face (2017), or entered the immersive permanent shop installation, Mimi (2021) at Jupiter Artland or at its temporary spot on Perth High Street, will know the sensations her work evokes.

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You might vacillate between wonder, repulsion and hysteria, or maybe a little touch of everything. Your eyes will definitely be a bit wider afterwards.

Mimi Doll necklace £155 Tatty Devine x Rachel MacleanMimi Doll necklace £155 Tatty Devine x Rachel Maclean
Mimi Doll necklace £155 Tatty Devine x Rachel Maclean

This zeitgeist-capturing Edinburgh College of Art graduate has been in increasing demand over the last decade and is about to open a solo show If It Looks Like a Duck at gallery Kunstpalais Erlangen, in Germany, which will run from April 1 until July 2 2023.

In conjunction, she’s also collaborated with jewellery brand, Tatty Devine, to create a 16 piece ‘dopamine-inducing’ Tatty Devine x Rachel Maclean collection of necklaces, rings, earrings and other wearable artworks, all of which feature her satirical motifs. These include the Mimi doll; the social media emoji, a cartoon eye, with or without a single tear, and the magic mirror.

You could even invest in a brooch that features the ambigram “I’m fine”, which reads as “save me”, when you turn it upside-down.

“The jewellery takes elements from my work to create pieces that are sweetly sinister, both cute and disconcertingly weird. I'm very excited to start wearing them,” says Maclean.

Rachel Maclean wearing a couple of pieces from the Tatty Devine collection Pic: Jenny LewisRachel Maclean wearing a couple of pieces from the Tatty Devine collection Pic: Jenny Lewis
Rachel Maclean wearing a couple of pieces from the Tatty Devine collection Pic: Jenny Lewis

In common with the Kent-based brand’s other ranges, this range is made from their signature chunky Perspex, and everything comes in bright and graphic colours.

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Maclean told us more about the collaboration, which will launch on March 31 and be available online and in the gallery shop.

Mirror necklace £115 Tatty Devine x Rachel MacleanMirror necklace £115 Tatty Devine x Rachel Maclean
Mirror necklace £115 Tatty Devine x Rachel Maclean

How did this collaboration happen?

I’ve been working with Amely Deiss, the director of Kunstpalais Erlangen, on a new exhibition. We were talking about our shared love of Tatty Devine and she had the idea to approach them about a collaboration. We were both very excited when they said yes.

Were you a fan already?

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I’ve been a big fan of Tatty Devine for years, and for quite a long time before I could afford to buy anything. I love how playful their designs are, they always looked like a lot of fun to make. When I first got into art and design, I had the idea of jewellery being more like classic silversmithing - a very craft-based, expensive and technical thing, which you had to master before you could start being creative. Tatty Devine were really inspiring because their approach was so different. They came up with their own techniques and made jewellery from found objects and digital images. That influenced me a lot in my approach to art.I found they encouraged the idea that you can just go for it and come up with your own craft, rather than needing to conform to tradition.

How involved were you in the design process and were there any ideas that didn't work out?

I was very involved, as all the artwork in the collection is taken from recurring symbols and imagery in my work. I sent Tatty Devine over lots of files and their founders Rosie and Harriet adapted them into jewellery designs. It was so much fun seeing it come together. I don’t know anything about the process of designing jewellery, so it was really interesting to see all the things that need to be considered. So much goes into just making something hang nicely, which I totally took for granted. A lot of my ideas were technically impossible, which maybe is a result of me making digital artwork and spending too much time on computers and not enough in the real world of weight and gravity.

Who do you think the customer will be?

I hope that this collection will appeal to people who know of my work but also to a wider audience. Also those who like to express a bit of humour in the jewellery they wear. I think Tatty Devine fans will enjoy it because the style really suits their bright and bold aesthetic.

Tell us more about your exhibition at Kunstpalais

I am showing all new work. It’s very different to my last work Mimi, which was an upside-down, candy coloured fairytale. The new installation at the gallery is inspired by a mahogany panelled gentlemen’s club, but I am still playing with the idea of inversion and turning things upside-down. The main work in the exhibition is a new 15-minute deepfake film that I have been working on for the past year. It’s a deepfake spy-thriller starring Sean Connery. I play all the characters but my face and voice have been deepfaked. It’s quite a dark film, but it has a lot of humour in it – I personally find it very funny! Alongside the film I’ll also be showing a series of new paintings and some other digital image works. The installation as a whole will be very immersive, I’m really excited to share it.

Were you sad when the Perth Mimi shop closed, and where will the next be popping up?

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I was a bit sad, yes. But it was always supposed to be temporary, and I think that made it more special. Where it will be next is still a bit under wraps, but it will be back in a town in Scotland in October this year.



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