Chad McCail

I make drawings, paintings and prints working in a figurative, illustrative manner. It is my intention that there should be no question as to what is represented but that the viewer’s attention should be focused on why it is and what is happening and that if this is successful, important questions should be raised. The pictures usually carry a short text that provides a lens through which the image can be seen. My interest is in examining those forces that enable us to take pleasure in one another, to empathise and co-exist peacefully and those which alienate and cultivate antagonism and mistrust.

Recently I have been looking at the history of compulsory education and this had led to an interest in how we treat children at puberty. In other cultures it is an event often contained by a public ritual which binds the adolescent to the community. That no such thing exists for most of us testifies to our emotional incompetence. Our general denial and failure to acknowledge or preserve the significance of this event, has particular consequences.


Chad McCail was born in 1961 in Manchester and grew up in Edinburgh. He lives and works in Thankerton, South Lanarkshire. Having first read English at the University of Kent, he later graduated in Fine Art from Goldsmiths College, London, in 1989. A series of gouache paintings called Food, Shelter Clothing Fuel was part of the British Art Show 5 in 2000 and a multipanel work called Snake or Life is Driven by the Desire for Pleasure was shown widely in Europe and the USA.

  • Chad McCail

    the competitive reflex is not developed
    by Chad McCail
    Medium: Screenprint
    Image Size: 56.5 x 76cm
    Edition size: 30