Remember the artists
Project records memories
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:// www.blogs.hss.ed.ac. 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