This piece was inspired by the knowledge that 2018 marks the 150th anniversary of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s birth, but also by my belief that another, less well-known artist deserves far greater recognition. Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh was a talented, highly trained artist and designer in her own right, but her role has frequently been reduced to being only a footnote in art history focused on her husband. Mackintosh himself was passionate about Macdonald’s art: the quote I use within my story – ‘I have only talent, Margaret has genius’ – is a real one, and from my research it seems that dynamic, collaborative working was an integral part of both their creative practices.
In my piece, I wanted to imagine the sound of a voice that traditional art history has failed to hear: to reflect on what Margaret Macdonald thought and experienced as a woman once at the heart of the avant-garde. It may be too late to hear her story in her own words, as it is for so many woman artists under-valued in history. But with creativity and a willingness to challenge old narratives, I believe we can and should bring their art back into the present.
For more of Kirsten’s work, visit: www.glasgowgallerina.com.