Mural painter in tribute to the “forgotten” Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh

The mural dedicated to the work of Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh by Molly Hankinson, can be seen at the Chivas Distillery at Gorbals in Glasgow

SHE was the wife of one of Scotland’s most famous architects and is considered by many to be the mastermind behind much of his groundbreaking design and interior work.

Now an artist is calling for more recognition from Glasgow around the work and significance of Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh – the wife of Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

Visual artist, illustrator and muralist Molly Hankinson made the call after her new mural of Mackintosh was unveiled around town at Chivas’ Strathclyde Distillery in the Gorbals.

Molly Hankinson, visual artist, illustrator and muralist based in Glasgow

Alongside fellow Glasgow-based artists Michael Corr and Rogue One, the mural was produced as part of the ‘I Rise, We Rise’ project, in partnership with Glasgow-based production company artpistol Projects, which saw the three rounded tanks 9.4 m high. at the distillery – one of Scotland’s oldest grain distilleries – transformed with paintings of local historical figures.

Ms Hankinson told the Herald she chose to paint a Mackintosh mural on the “shock” realization that none already existed in Glasgow.

She said: “We were given a brief, but we were allowed to choose at the same time, we had to choose someone who meant a lot to us or to the city. Chivas Regal’s motto is ‘I Rise, We Rise”. So they wanted us to choose someone who we believe embodies that spirit and message, someone who has stood up through thick and thin or someone who deserves to be championed or celebrated in the city.

“So yeah, Margaret was my pick basically. I was amazed to hear there wasn’t a Margaret mural in Glasgow and I said, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe it!” “I did some research before deciding to dedicate a mural to him, because I didn’t want to step on another artist’s toes if there was already one, or one that I didn’t didn’t already know.

“I researched it and couldn’t provide proof of pre-existence, which was quite shocking to me. So obviously I jumped at the chance to do it because it is such a great figure and such an important part of Glasgow’s history. It was a very good opportunity to do one and I hope I did him justice. Hopefully it brings some more recognition for his work and its importance.

One of the key figures in the emergence of the ‘Glasgow style’ of art, design and architecture in the 1890s along with her husband Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh was one of the most gifted and successful in Scotland at the turn of the century.

Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh

Although she collaborated on many projects with her husband, mainly through the production of panels for interiors and furniture – notably for the tea rooms and Hill House – Margaret’s contribution is often less recognised, and often confined to the historic role of Rennie Mackintosh’s “talented other”. half”.

This, although Charles Rennie Mackintosh himself admitted that he owed much of his own success to the influence of his wife, stating in a letter that: “You must remember that in all my architectural endeavours, you you were half, if not three quarters, of them”. Hankinson’s work celebrates women and marginalized communities through a feminist lens.

Through her portrait, Molly celebrates one of the many notable women in Glasgow’s history who did not have a space of their own, which she says was symbolic of the period in which she lived.

She added: “I think there is definitely a need to better understand his work and the importance of his work in the emergence of the ‘Glasgow style’. “It’s about shining a light on a woman who would have traditionally been overlooked, because we’re in the 21st century now, and I think there are so many women who have fallen by the wayside because they were married to men who, by default of the times, have more recognition than they do, even though their contributions might have been quite similar.”

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