Born 1964, Isle of Lewis, Scotland
Trained at Camberwell School of Art BA(Hons), London
Brought up on Lewis and later Orkney in Scotland, MacDonald's work is understandably marine based. Working with age old metal work techniques, he strives to produce contemporary and unique pieces of art. His artistic endeavour is to observe and capture fleeting moments of nature, from the calm and tension before a trout strikes to the pure excitements of the sudden, synchronised turn of a mass herring shoal. The result is the expression of an emotional response to something very private, a moment shared between human and nature, suggesting a balance and a suspension, using the brooding colours of the background to saturate the work with a contemplative stillness.
The move from Orkney to Perthshire, Scotland brought with it a new dimension to Sam's work. The influence of the move can be seen in the inclusion of trees, insects and birds, which give his pieces a sense of time and season.
MacDonald, who works as a wildlife sculptor known for his stunning contemporary portrayals of fish. MacDonald's sensitive feel for his subjects flows directly from the insights he has gleaned from being an ardent angler and naturalist. MacDonald is currently featured in a three-man exhibition (including painter Ewoud DeGroot and Henry Bismuth) at Visions West Gallery in Bozeman, Montana. The show runs from June 8 through July 11, 2012.
MacDonald's work is avidly collected in America and adorns the second homes of many art collectors in Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho who spend their summers in the northern Rockies chasing trout.
MacDonald grew up at Lewis and lived on the rugged Orkney isles of Scotland pursuing his love of fishing and the outdoors. "Observing and catching the fish enables me to study and contemplate the sculptural form of a fish, from the glint of the scales to the structure of the skeletal remains on the plate," he says.
He adds that he enjoys presenting some subjects as if they were fossil specimens, suddenly revealed in a rock that has been split open.
I use the old traditional metal work techniques to produce contemporary and unique pieces. My artistic endeavour is to observe and capture fleeting moments of nature, trying to express the emotional response to something very private, a moment shared between man and nature, suggesting a balance and a suspension with the brooding colours of the background saturating the work with a contemplative stillness
2012 The Gallery, Cork Street, London
2010 Alexander Meddows Gallery , Edinburgh
2006 Stenton Gallery, East Lothian
2005 Stenton Gallery, East Lothian
2004 Maclaurin Art Gallery, Rozelle House
2003 Stenton Gallery, East Lothian
2003 Queens Road Gallery, Aberdeen
2002 Depth, The Orkney Museum, Kirkwall
2001 Fish, The Weem Gallery, Pittenweem, Fife
2000 Fish, Pier Arts Centre, Stromness
1983 - 2009 Group Exhibitions at various galleries, including the House of Bruar, CLA Game Fairs, Royal Scottish Academy and Wykeham Gallery.
2001 - Pier Arts Centre Stromness
2006 - Institute Of Medical Science ,Aberdeen
2008 - Stornoway, Isles of Lewis
2009 - P&O Azura