Eleanor McLean London, United Kingdom
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I am a British artist based in London, and 2022 MA Sculpture graduate from the RCA. I have a multi-disciplinary practice that operates within the realms of sculpture and installation, using found objects, writing and craft. It is often poetic, drawing on personal nostalgia and collective memories through British culture within objects, interiors and traditions

My practice is consistently informed by how space can be philosophised as utopia, dystopia and heterotopia, which refers to a concept by Michel Foucault as worlds within worlds. I use this to understand order and behaviour in space, and how a particular group of heterotopias can bring comfort, happiness and escapism. It is interesting to also consider how happiness is constructed politically and socially; whilst building on Sara Ahmed’s writing, happiness may be understood as something to obtain, promised to us, and an experience changeable due to class and culture. The significance of belief systems and order is also central to my practice in exploring our cultural understanding of happiness, hope and wishes, whilst also the comfort it brings, through examining existing societal structures, superstitions and folklore.

With regards to the work’s domestic influences, I like to also consider the act of daydreaming and remembering, how memory is constructed, and physically how objects of an interior space change and move through time, and then become romanticised. The materiality is often influenced by the domestic tropes present in British pubs, examining the sentimental Victorian influences in the interior and architecture. I am interested in how these spaces can provide a sense of comfort and refuge whilst simultaneously be destructive. I often collect objects that evoke a nostalgia, combining this with cathartic craft such as tufting, ceramic and writing. My practice seeks to embody and understand nostalgia, interested in how it offers a sense of community and belonging to culture and generation, considering particularly the role of storytelling through families and social media.


borrowing tomorrow's happiness [analogue photography series] , Analogue photography, on-going project


Windows into Dreams , soft sculpture / tufted, 2022


The Lovers' Pub, oil painting / mixed media sculpture, 2023


how many pennies do I need to collect before I get good luck?, mixed media installation, 2022


Fingers Crossed, found object, hand tufted, 2023


32 Bricks and a Blanket, Sculpture/installation , 2018


Granted, Sculpture/installation , 2019


Space Invaders , Textile Sculpture , 2020


Pleasure and Delight, Photo series , 2020


Projects and exhibitions


Borrowing Tomorrow's Happiness

17/08/2023 — 18/08/2023

Debut self curated group show

Press Release excerpt -

The pub can be considered a ritualistic and intimate space within culture. The show considers the pub from poetic and sculptural perspectives; a space that performs as Heterotopia [a term coined by Michel Foucault in 1967], a world within a world. It mirrors the domestic to provide...

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Take Courage gallery, Amersham Arms pub, London Details


30/01/2023 — 18/02/2023

"We’re pleased to announce Eleanor McLean’s upcoming solo exhibition ‘Promise’, curated by Hector Campbell. The presentation is the latest in our ‘Contemporary Collaborations: INVITES’ series, which sees emerging and early-career artists respond to an object of inspiration from Robert Young Antiques’ expansive collection of folk...

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Robert Young Antiques, Battersea, London Details

Patio Project

05/08/2020 — 12/08/2020

Series of weekly solo shows curated by Georgia Stephenson, hosted to the public in her back garden by appointment, exhibiting Sculpture graduates in response to the losses during the pandemic.

Private garden, South East London, Depford Details
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