The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition)
Celebration of film-maker
A NEW exhibition will highlight the early life of Stirling’s Oscar-winning film-maker, Norman McLaren.
A Dream of Stirling: Norman McLaren’s Scottish Dawn uses material from Stirling University’s extensive Norman McLaren Archive along with items donated by the McLaren family.
The display aims to provide an insight into McLaren’s childhood and looks at the influence of his Scottish upbringing on his film-making career.
The exhibition, at Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum from April 11, is part of McLaren 2014, a nationwide programme celebrating the centenary of the birth of the pioneering Scottish artist, film-maker and musician.
McLaren is best known for his work for the National Film Board of Canada — winning an Academy Award(r) in 1952 for his short film Neighbours.
Other awards included a Bafta for best animated film for Pas de Deux in 1969 and best short film at the Cannes Film Festival for Blinkity Blank in 1955.
Elspeth King from the Stirling Smith said: “McLaren was born in the house directly opposite the Stirling Smith 100 years ago.
“Over the years, McLaren aficionados have come seeking information, questioning why Stirling does not celebrate the work of such a great man in the place of his birth.
“This exhibition gives the Smith the opportunity to do that, in an entirely appropriate manner, for the first time.”
Karl Magee, the university archivist who curated the new display, said: “While researching the exhibition we found that Norman McLaren had exhibited paintings in the Smith in the 1930s and our current display will include a number of artworks that he produced at that time.
“These works have been specially conserved and mounted and will be displayed alongside photographs, letters and memorabilia from the archive.”
A Dream of Stirling will include examples of Norman McLaren’s artwork from the 1920s and ’30s.
The exhibition will present a photographic record of his family life in Stirling and will also feature a colour home movie shot by McLaren of the family in their garden.
Iain Gardner, artistic director at McLaren 2014, said: “This exhibition will provide a unique insight into the world in which Norman grew up — a world similar but distant to today’s.”
Workshops, performances, f ilm screenings and other events will take place at the Smith Art Gallery, the university’s macrobert arts centre and other venues across Scotland and the rest of the UK.