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Mary Modeen is an artist/printmaker who also works in artist books, installations, and recently, in video and sound. She is also an academic of nearly 30 years full-time experience in higher education, residing in Scotland where she convenes the Art, Philosophy and Contemporary Practices at the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, University of Dundee. Born in the USA (Madison, Wisconsin) of Scandinavian and Native American ancestry, she lived and taught in many states, latterly in New Hampshire where she lectured at Dartmouth College until moving to Scotland in 1989.
As a committed interdisciplinary scholar, Modeen’s academic background included degrees in literature and music as well as art, and two postgraduate degrees, one in aesthetic education and a Master of Fine Art in printmaking. She is interested in the nexus of traditional and visual culture, and contemporary art, in Aotearoa/New Zealand and other island cultures, both literal and metaphorical. In work ranging from Mannin/Man, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Aotearoa/New Zealand as physical islands, and Native American/First Nation Canadian, Maori, and Basque peoples as indigenous cultures, she has been examining the interplay between cultural identities and art, combining creative practice with critical writing. While Modeen appreciates critical writings which examine similar material from the standpoint of visual anthropology or post-colonial philosophy, for example, her interests lie in the intersection between art-making, visual representation, and perceptual perspectives. She reappraises aspects of Indigenous peoples’ identity and how this is manifested visually; the land and its role in shaping life; and questions how ‘locational memory’ functions and its subsequent visualisation and representations; in short, the aesthetics of land, place and its people. In Modeen’s research place is the locus for philosophical reflection contested values made visible.
In 2007 she was a Senior Research Fellow and artist-in-residence in New Zealand at the University of Otago, Dunedin, working with Maori Studies scholars. In conjunction with this, an exhibition of prints and videos entitled Tangata Whenua (translated as either ‘local people’ or ’people of the land’) was held.
Her artwork is represented by the Graphic Studio Gallery of Dublin, Ireland
and has been exhibited widely across the world. Two recent books are This
Place Called Home, published by Manx National Heritage, and Remembered
Places, published by Ballarat Fine Art Gallery.
other solo shows internationally since 1979
Selected Exhibitions - Group
2004-7 Symbolic Sites: The International Archive of Humanist Art, Guernica, Spain; Counihan Gallery, Melbourne, Australia and Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, Australia;
Portadown and Belfast Northern Ireland; Durban, South Africa; Tiblisi, Georgia; and Kent State University, Ohio, USA. With colour illustration in book: Art and
Humanist Ideals: The International Archive of Humanist Art, William Kelly, Ed. Published by Palgrave-Macmillan, c. 2003. ISBN.
2000 The Road to Meikle Seggie: 70/2000 Kingston on Thames, Group exhibition; plus extensive tour following
1998 Contents and Contexts: Lithography After 200 Years, juried international exhibition, Academy Art Center, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
1998 Continental Shift an exhibition of six American artists resident in Britain, Peterborough City Art Gallery, England
1998 Lithographs:Scottish/Swedish, Lithographiska Akademin, Tidaholm, Sweden: with second venue in Stockholm
+ 47 other group shows internationally since 1979
Selected Public Collections
International Archive of Humanist Art, Melbourne, Australia
University of Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
Swedish Hospital, Seattle, Washington, USA
Nordic Heritage Museum, Seattle, Washington, USA
Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Aberdeen, Scotland
Scottish Equitable PLC, Edinburgh, Scotland
McManus Gallery, Dundee City Art Galleries, Scotland
Scottish Conservancy Council, Glasgow, Scotland
Hungarian National Museum of Art, Budapest, Hungary
Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museum, Aberdeen, Scotland
Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, USA
Arts & Humanities Council of Greater Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA
Old State Capitol, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA