Born in London in 1947 Alasdair Neil Macdonell trained at Southampton University and received a B.Ed in ceramics from Nottingham University. He has had his own studio in Bath since 1974 and exhibits regularly in both England and Europe.
The central theme for his highly individual ceramics is the face and its ornamentation - whether headdresses, helmets or make-up, it is ‘the mask’, behind which people hide both physically and emotionally that fascinates him.
The archaeological remains of lost civilizations are a constant inspiration and source of reference that he uses to produce his complex and powerful imagery.
Pieces begin as slip cast assemblages. Moulds are made from his own clay originals - small faces, boxes and heads, often from live models. The finished surfaces of his constructions are highly worked using textures taken from his unusual collection of press moulds. Additional patterning is highlighted using iron and cobalt oxides, brushed on to draw attention to particular shapes.
In recent years he has integrated found objects into his ceramic pieces, driftwood, scrap metal and rusty iron-work are often combined to create hauntingly beautiful masks.
Neil Macdonell is a professional member of the CPA and is awaiting publication of a new book by Joy Bosworth ‘Ceramics and Mixed Media’ featuring his work.