Iain Maclean was born in a town and country that no longer exist (now called Kabwe and Zambia respectively).
His father was Scottish and his mother Polish, but his earliest artistic influences were initially African sculpture and then later, European art, particularly Francis Bacon
In 1969 he emigrated to England and studied art at Goldsmiths where he moved away from abstract and figurative, to more conceptual work and designed “rooms” exploring the senses: touch, sight, audio and particularly smell.
As he wasn’t eligible for a student grant, to pay his way through art school, he worked evenings backstage at various London theatres, including the Palladium and Drury Lane.
He eventually dropped out and entered advertising, where, over time, he became an award-winning copywriter and creative director.
After an exhibition at J Walter Thompson in Berkeley Square, London in 1972, he grew disenchanted with art and destroyed all his work.
In 2006/7, he returned to art school, this time, Byam Shaw, Central St Martins.
Since then, the reclusive artist has only exhibited twice.