Complex System


Medium: Cuttlebone
Dimensions: 82 x 71 cm (Framed)


The cuttlebone have been cut to conform to their regular underlying geometry of elongated hexagonals, while at the same time ensuring that the maximum amount of material is retained. These are then assembled to form perfect minimalist works in minutely varying shades of white, obliquely referencing Robert Ryman’s ‘white’ monochrome paintings of the 1960s. The growth rings which build up as the organism increases in size function as naturally generated ‘brush marks’. The substance and structure of the sea creatures has been transformed into a perfect artifact of twenty-first century minimalist art.

Living in the countryside Alastair Mackie became aware of materials that are often overlooked, as a child he was fascinated by materials such as Owl pellets, Cuttlebone etc and what they represented in a much bigger sense; life, death, regeneration and their position as part of a complex system. The cuttlebone have been collected from beaches and processed into geometric components, these pieces are designed to be sold as a pair and mirror one another in their construction.

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