Growing up on a small farm, Alastair Mackie was confronted by the cyclical nature of life and became acutely aware of birth, death, regeneration and the conflicts that occur within nature and mankind. Mackie looks to represent this idea with his rodent forms with what he terms as ‘the manipulation of craft and concept.’
His practise incorporates the bringing together of disparate elements and meticulously constructed works that suggest an obsession with craftsmanship. The result is both disturbing and fascinating. From a distance his works appear to be beautiful objects, the result of painstaking construction processes, however on closer inspection the true nature of the materials is revealed highlighting the contradiction between nature’s beauty and the harshness of the daily struggle to survive in the wild.
Alastair Mackie studied at Camberwell College of Art, London (1997), followed by the City and Guilds London School (2000). He won the Madame Tussaud’s award in 1999, followed by the City and Guild’s Sculpture Prize in 2000. He has exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, as well as across the UK and internationally. His work is held in the collections of Charles Saatchi, the Wellcome Trust and Alexander McQueen.
Mackie said of his work Maquette for Self-portrait:
The piece is based on an idea I have been working on for a self-portrait taken from my actual skeleton; a modern day ‘memento mori’ created using cutting edge technologies employed in medicine and architecture. The idea is that a CT scan would be used to create a 3D CAD model of a particular part of my skeleton. From this perfect 1:1 scale replica would be made using solid free form fabrication (rapid prototyping). This would then be cast into bronze. The project was set into motion, but quickly stopped when I looked into the dangers involved with CT scanning. The statistics calculated by radiologists were that, in order to get the surface detail I wanted, there would be a 1:2000 chance of picking up terminal cancer! Therefore the project has been put on hold. The piece is a model of the part of skeleton I planned to replicate.