Aileen McKay – Artist’s Statement

Artist’s Statement and images by Aileen McKay

SCOTA I by Aileen McKay

Artist’s Statement

Aileen McKay: My Scota acrylic on canvas series gives form to the blue-on-blue horizons that Scota, Scotland’s migrant foremother might have seen as she led her matriarchal followers across the seas from Egypt (via Spain and Ireland) to the mass of rock and moor we now call ‘Scotland’. In doing so, I hope to remind contemporary viewers that all nations and cities owe their existence to migration: an ancient human process to which all of us are entitled.


SCOTA II by Aileen McKay

About Aileen McKay

Aileen McKay grew up by the sea. Now a city dweller – based between Berlin and Edinburgh – she loves to play with the colour blue, drawn to cyan’s indelibility, as well as the richness of sapphires and indigos. She enjoys working with driftwood, its urban sibling citydrift, and sea glass. Her Queer Threads weavings series (2023) brings a rainbow of wool strands (sourced from Scottish farms via independent Edinburgh wool shops) into contrast with cream – using the traditional tool of the lap loom and the practice of weaving to communicate that queer identities in Scotland are not new, but rather as old as the act of weaving itself, if not older.

Previously working across weaving and the written word, Aileen picked up palette knife and paint at the age of 30 after deciding it was no longer enough for her to only read about female and queer painters. Her kitchen counter is her studio, where she teaches herself how to paint by the midnight oil, a practice she has fallen in love with.

Aileen McKay welcomes anyone who wants to be in touch to email her: