Re­mem­ber the artists

Project records mem­o­ries

The Galloway News - - THE WEEKEND TICKET -

In­spired by a clus­ter of rapt ex­hi­bi­tion vis­i­tors lis­ten­ing to a res­i­dent re­call­ing the painter Charles Op­pen­heimer, Kirkcud­bright Artists Re­mem­bered was born.

Over the past year a Kirkcud­bright Har­bour Cot­tage Trust project team has in­ter­viewed lo­cal peo­ple who re­call the artists in the town from the 1940s to the 60s.

Jessie M King, E A Tay­lor and Op­pen­heimer are syn­ony­mous with the town but there were oth­ers who were equally pop­u­lar res­i­dents, ac­tively in­volved with com­mu­nity life.

They in­clude “the God­fa­ther of Scot­tish stu­dio pot­tery” Tommy Lochhead, mul­ti­tal­ented crafts­man Tim Jeffs, pas­tel por­traitist Lena Alexan­der and painters such as Ann and Alis­tair Dal­las and “Bill” Miles John­ston and his wife Dorothy Nes­bitt.

Most were in­com­ers at­tracted by the town’s as­so­ci­a­tion with E A Hor­nel but the painter John Hal­l­i­day was born in Kirkcud­bright.

Hal­l­i­day formed strong bonds with the artists’ colony of the time, pro­pel­ling him to start his ca­reer at Glas­gow School of Art.

The au­dio record­ings will form part of the Re­gional Eth­nol­ogy of Scot­land Project. Clips will be on­line from to­mor­row at https:// uk/re­gional-eth­nol­o­gyscot­land/.

The full, pro­fes­sion­ally tran­scribed record­ings will be up­loaded as they are com­pleted. They will also be held lo­cally by the Li­braries and Ar­chive Ser­vice whose sup­port was key to the suc­cess of the project.

Kirkcud­bright Artists Re­mem­bered moved on to an am­bi­tious new phase when sup­port was se­cured from the coun­cil and The Gal­loway As­so­ci­a­tion of Glas­gow to use the record­ings as the ba­sis of a film.

The ser­vices of BAFTA-win­ning young film-maker James Al­cock se­cured, the team pro­duced two, six-minute films: Kirkcud­bright Artists Re­mem­bered and John Hal­l­i­day, Child of the Colony. The films will be launched at an event to cel­e­brate com­ple­tion of the project to­mor­row. From then on, they can be seen in the Kirkcud­bright Gal­leries and on­line via YouTube.

His­tory ‘Bill’ Miles John­ston out­side his stu­dio and shop The Crafts in 1953

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