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#tendaychallenge - 2. Recalling Norman Ackroyd's talk at The Fine Art Society, Edinburgh.

Updated: Feb 22, 2021

#tendaychallenge - Continuing with the theme of 'islandness', I came across a postcard/invite yesterday, quite by chance, for a talk by Norman Ackroyd, at The Fine Art Society in Edinburgh - October 2015. The exhibition titled 'St Kilda to Muckle Flugga', composed of etchings and watercolours detailing these outlying points of the British Isles. I held a huge admiration for the work of Norman Ackroyd, so it was very special to see this collection of images, and hear the tales of their creation direct from the artist so soon after moving to Edinburgh.

My main memory of the talk was Ackroyd's answer to a question from a member of the audience, enquiring about how he reaches a decision on what the subjects of his work will be; "I just go where I want," was his unequivocal response. This felt very honest, and refreshing to hear, as there was a complete absence of overwrought and rationalised explanation. In reflecting upon that now, it seems that to follow one's heart in relation to creative matters like this, might be the most 'rational' response possible. There was an ease and grace about him, which complemented a strong work ethic, and dedication towards a labour intensive art that demands focus and accuracy.

This would have been just a few weeks after the events described in yesterday's post, and influenced some of the work I made around that time. This piece - 'Outliers' - was the first of my work to feature in an exhibition at the Royal Scottish Academy, and was later exhibited at in Dartington.


Graphite, pastel, ink

50 x 38 cm



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