Rory Macbeth grew up in Scotland and the Solomon Islands, and has subsequently lived in Edinburgh, Barcelona, Madrid, Paris, London and Liverpool. He studied at the University of Edinburgh, and Central St Martin's, London, and since has shown several times in Tate Britain and Modern, initially as part of the Art Now series, and later in the No Soul for Sale show curated by Maurizio Cattalan. He has had artwork in international collections, including key work in ARoS museum Aarhus. He has exhibited at Biennials in Prague and Liverpool, Venice, and most recently in the Seychelles. He has made significant commissions for EAST International, The Economist, the Northern Gallery of Contemporary Art and Tate Britain, and had a survey show at Nassauischer Kunstverein, Wiesbaden. He has undertaken residencies in Zurich and Venice, been Writer in Residence for X Marks the Bokship, and has contributed to a number of publications and has been represented by galleries in Europe. Rory co-founded a large studio and event space in Limehouse Town Hall, London. This sparked his interest in providing large scale platforms for non-commercial and experimental art practices that led to him founding and directing PILOT:. PILOT :1 and :2 had successful iterations in London in 2004 and 2005, and the third iteration launched at the Venice Biennale in 2007 in association with the Bevilaqua Foundation.
Rory has collaborated with a range of artists, as part of the 12 strong art group Twenteenth Century, with Darren Phizackerlea as The Brians Sewell, and with Laure Prouvost on The Wanderer where Laure and Rory developed and produced a film adaptation of Rory's experimental Kafka translation The Wanderer.
For 7 years, Rory led the Fine Art department at LJMU Liverpool UK, running a unique programme that forefronted experimental approaches to art learning, and exhibiting as a key part of the learning process - the course averaged around 55 exhibitions a year (compared to most courses doing one). In COVID lockdown, Rory had the idea to put his students on Mars for their graduate exhibition during the Covid-19 lockdown. creating a multiverse exhibition based on Matterport and gaming technology and constructed from NASA's 3D scans of the martian surface (degreeshowonmars.com) online. He has previously been a lecturer at Central St Martin's and Leeds Met, as well as a visiting lecturer at numerous universities and institutions nationally and internationally.