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Ronan Mckenzie and Mac Collins: ideation to realisation


Collage of one person in long black dress taking mirror selfie next to image of person sat down wearing green jacket and black trousers

Photography credit: Serena Brown, Megan Jepson

Join multidisciplinary artist Ronan Mckenzie and artist and designer Mac Collins as they discuss their processes from ideation to realisation.

With an introduction to both of their current practices and focusses, the conversation will share an insight in to the heart of their bodies of work, the importance of contextualising experiences that lead to creative outcomes within specific environments, the power of being connected to other contemporaries, and cultivating the cultural landscape that we would like to exist in.

Barbican Encounters stages interdisciplinary dialogues between major figures shaping our culture, from the visual and performing arts to fashion, design, and technology. At each encounter, the Barbican invites two people from different creative worlds to share their experiences, giving speakers and audiences alike a unique insight into their knowledge, influences and creative process.


Ronan Mckenzie is a multidisciplinary artist whose practice includes photography, curation, design and writing. Notable within Ronan’s practice is a sensitivity to honest, relatable emotion and the celebration of individuality. Her work is often tied together with her passion for creating more imagery of connections, relationships and black joy, presenting the world as she would like to see it.

Alongside creating still and moving image works for titles and brands including Sunday Times Style, T Magazine, Garage, Luncheon, Wall Street Journal, Clinique, Glossier, Nike, Browns, BMW, and Net-A-Porter, Ronan founded her gallery meets community space HOME in 2020, which has gone on to collaborate with and curate exhibitions and events for Carl Freedman Gallery, The V&A Museum, The Royal Academy, Gucci, and WePresent. In 2020, Ronan also founded her clothing brand SELASI, where she freely and instinctively explores notions of skin, whilst juxtaposing sensitivity and strength.

Ronan is currently working on a number of commissions and special projects including spatial design at Tate Modern and a multi-activation event curation project with The British Pavilion which recently kicked off at The Venice Architecture Biennale.

Mac Collins is a British designer and artist from Nottingham. He graduated with a degree in Three-Dimensional Design from Northumbria University, Newcastle, in 2018. In the years since, he has been committed to designing and making narrative-rich and impactful furniture and objects. Mac’s work explores the intersection of cultures. As an artist of dual heritage, Mac draws on his British-Jamaican lineage to create artefacts that are often informed by the stories, charisma and experiences of his hybridised community. Mac received the Emerging Design Medal (2021) and the Ralph Saltzman Prize (2022) which culminated in a solo exhibition at The London Design Museum (2022). Recent group and solo exhibitions include: ‘Discovered’ at the Design Museum, London (2022), ‘Harewood House Biennial: Radical Acts’ at Harewood House, Leeds (2022), ‘Open Code’ at Primary in Nottingham (2022). Mac will be contributing new work to ‘Dancing Before the Moon’ at the British Pavilion, Venice Biennale (2023).

Frobisher Auditorium 1