New Film By Rachel Maclean Set At St Peter’s Seminary Reflects 100th Anniversary Of The Representation Of The People Act 1918
14-18 NOW AND BBC SCOTLAND COMMISSION RACHEL MACLEAN TO CREATE A NEW FEATURE FILM MARKING THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE ACT 1918, PRODUCED BY NVA AND HOPSCOTCH FILMS.
THE FILM, MAKE ME UP, WILL BE SHOWN IN SCREENINGS ACROSS THE UK AND BROADCAST ON THE BBC IN 2018.
MACLEAN’S FILM, MAKE ME UP IS PART OF NVA’S INAUGURAL NEW AGORA PROGRAMME, AN ANNUAL SERIES OF DIGITAL ARTWORKS AND PUBLIC EVENTS THAT AIMS TO OPEN UP CONVERSATIONS ACROSS SOCIAL AND POLITICAL DIVIDES.
Make Me Up is a new feature length film work by acclaimed Scottish artist Rachel Maclean, produced by NVA and Hopscotch Films as a major commission for 14-18 NOW, the UK’s official arts programme for the First World War centenary, for broadcast by the BBC in 2018.
100 years since women got the right to vote in the UK, progress towards equality remains far from straightforward. Part horror movie, part comedy, Make Me Up will reflect on the shortcomings of a century of female enfranchisement.
Make Me Up is inspired by suffragette protest, including the attack by Mary Richardson on The Rokeby Venus. In 1914 she slashed Velazquez’s sensual nude depiction of the goddess with a meat cleaver.
Embodying Maclean’s exaggerated, surreal and pop coloured aesthetic, Make Me Up explores the entanglement of feminism in capitalism and questions whether, in a system founded on grotesque inequalities, women can ever truly be free.
The film imagines a dystopian future where a group of women are trapped in a cruel reality TV style competition set within the brutal modern interior of St Peter's Seminary. Here voting is not a liberation – it’s a harsh judgement the contestants must face. New arrival Siri learns the rules of a show where compliance and attractiveness are key. Emboldened by her growing friendship with fellow inmate Alexa, Siri finds ways of sabotaging the system, discovering some terrible truths in the process.
Make Me Up is NVA’s first external commission linked to St Peter’s Seminary, a ruined modernist icon on the West Coast of Scotland which the organisation has been working to reclaim as a platform for public art. Maclean has drawn inspiration from the place and its history, using CGI technology to give the modernist concrete ruin a feminine makeover.
Rachel Maclean said, “I'm delighted to have the opportunity to explore the excitements and complications of contemporary feminism. Make Me Up is my most ambitious and longest film to date and I'm so excited to be working with such accomplished production companies and arts organisations on this project.”
Make Me Up is part of Represent, a series of artworks inspired by the Representation of the People Act 1918. While the act gave the vote only to women over 30, Represent invites young female artists to explore democracy, equality and inclusion in contemporary Britain. Presented by 14-18 NOW and supported by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation, Represent is accompanied by a programme of events, talks and professional development opportunities.
The film also sits as a centre piece within the inaugural year of NVA’s New Agora, an annual series of digital artworks and public events that aims to build genuine conversations across social and political divides. In Ancient Greece, the agora was the forum for public debate where people would gather to discuss everything from business, politics and current affairs to the nature of the universe and the divine.
The New Agora will provide an open platform that will consider issues affecting humanity today. The 2018 programme will focus on the theme of Representation. More details will be announced in the spring.
Make Me Up is created by Rachel Maclean, produced by NVA and Hopscotch Films, commissioned by 14-18 NOW and BBC Scotland, funded by Creative Scotland and supported by Jerwood Charitable Foundation, EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, and Argyll and Bute Council.
Make Me Up will be screened throughout the UK and then broadcast by the BBC in 2018.
Angus Farquhar, Creative Director of NVA said, “We are excited to be working with Hopscotch Films to produce Rachel Maclean’s new film Make Me Up. The film will be an important statement on the last century, 100 years on from some women first getting the right to vote in this country. NVA will be exploring these ideas in depth through this year’s New Agora programme of debate, discussion and digital installations. To reflect the shocking divides and incredible convergences that define human experience today, the New Agora will offer a radical digital and physical space where everyone can speak without reprimand or censure.”
John Archer, Hopscotch Films said, "Hopscotch Films is thrilled to be working with Rachel Maclean who is a dazzlingly talented artist. We’re delighted to be helping her reach a wider audience with her first feature film."
Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said “Following the success Hinterland, EventScotland is delighted to be continuing its support of NVA in their pursuit in establishing St Peter’s as a location for public art and ground breaking events in Scotland. Their New Agora Season with ‘Make Me Up’ as its centre piece will showcase the perfect stage Scotland offers for cultural programmes and events.”
About RACHEL MACLEAN
Rachel Maclean is a Glasgow based artist (b.1987, Edinburgh, Scotland). Working predominantly with the moving image, Maclean has had significant recent success, with major exhibitions at HOME, Manchester and Tate Britain in 2016. After graduating from Edinburgh College of Art, her work came to public attention in New Contemporaries 2009. She went on to win the Margaret Tait Award in 2013, was twice shortlisted for the Jarman Award, and achieved widespread critical acclaim for Feed Me (2015) in the British Art Show 8.
Her recent exhibitions include: Spite Your Face, Scotland + Venice partnership, Le Biennale di Venezia 2017, Wot U :-) About?, HOME, Manchester and Tate Britain, London (2016-17); We Want Data (2016), Artpace, Texas; British Art Show 8 (2015-17); Ok, You've Had Your Fun, Casino Luxembourg (2015), Please, Sir…, Rowing, London (2014); The Weepers, Comar, Mull (2014); Happy & Glorious, CCA, Glasgow (2014). Recent screenings include: Feed Me at Athens and Luxembourg Film Festival (2016); Moving Pictures, British Council and Film London (2015-16); Lolcats, Impakt Festival, Utrecht, The Netherlands (2014).
NVA is an acronym of ‘nacionale vita activa’, expressing the Ancient Greek ideal of a lively democracy, where actions and words shared among equals bring new thinking into the world.
Our mission is to create opportunities through public art, debate and knowledge exchange where creativity and collective action increase the potential for social change.
We make powerful public art in diverse landscapes, strengthening people's connection to their built and natural surroundings. We have incorporated light, sound and collective movement into mountains, docklands, car parks, gorges, wastelands, cities, gardens and abandoned buildings. By involving people in our artworks, we reveal how places shape – and are shaped by – people.
Our permanent works regenerate neglected landscapes. Over the next three years, we will host a lively programme of events and activities at St Peter’s with the aim of demonstrating how a public space can advance social change. This will include the New Agora, a strand of programming which aims to open up conversation and debate across social and political divides through a series of digital artworks and public events.
Hopscotch Films is an independent production company based in Scotland. We make groundbreaking cultural productions with worldwide appeal. Hopscotch specialises in documentaries, arts and drama for film and television. We often work with and develop new talent.
The Hopscotch Films production, the fifteen hour THE STORY OF FILM: AN ODYSSEY, written and directed by Mark Cousins, filmed all around the world and has now been sold for cinema, DVD and television to 25 territories. Mark has also made ATOMIC and I AM BELFAST with Hopscotch Films.
Last year our feature documentary ACCIDENTAL ANARCHIST (Directors John Archer, Clara Glynn) premiered at CPH:DOX and our feature documentary ARCADIA (Director Paul Wright) premiered at the London Film Festival and has it’s cinema release this summer. Our television documentaries include STOP ALL THE CLOCKS: WH AUDEN IN AN AGE OF ANXIETY (director Adam Low) which was on BBC2 and COMING OOT, a history of Gay Scotland . We have just completed a second comedy horror drama for BBC Scotland directed by Greg Hemphill following up on last year’s WEST SKERRA LIGHT.
About 14-18 NOW
14-18 NOW is a programme of extraordinary arts experiences connecting people with the First World War, as part of the UK’s official centenary commemorations. It commissions new work by leading contemporary artists across all art forms; the programme has included over 200 artists from 35 countries, with commissions taking place in 160 locations across the UK. Over 30 million people have experienced a project so far, including 7.5 million children and young people. 16.7million people took part in LIGHTS OUT in 2014, and 63% of the population were aware of Jeremy Deller’s 2016 work ‘We’re here because we’re here’. The UK tour of the iconic poppy sculptures by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper have been seen by over 3.5 million people to date. 14-18 NOW has won many awards for its work, including the National Lottery Heritage Award 2017, a Museums Heritage Award and the Chairman’s Award at The Drum Social Buzz Awards 2016. It is supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England, by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and by additional fundraising.
About CREATIVE SCOTLAND
Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit the website. Follow us @creativescots and Facebook.
EventScotland is working to make Scotland the perfect stage for events. By developing an exciting portfolio of sporting and cultural events EventScotland is helping to raise Scotland’s international profile and boost the economy by attracting more visitors. For further information about EventScotland, its funding programmes and latest event news visit www.EventScotland.org. Follow EventScotland on Twitter @EventScotNews.
EventScotland is a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, the national tourism organisation which markets Scotland as a tourism destination across the world, gives support to the tourism industry and brings sustainable tourism growth to Scotland. For more information about VisitScotland see the website or for consumer information on Scotland as a visitor destination see the website.