We were very sad to hear the news about the death of Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) alumnus and fellow, Alan Davie. The close connection between Davie and ECA over the decades can be seen throughout our collections and so we’ve compiled a selection of images to celebrate his work and life.
From the presentation speech when Davie was awarded his Honorary Fellowship of ECA at Dovecot Studios in 2004:
‘Alan Davie’s art is inspired by his insatiable curiosity concerning a whole range of different aspects of our world – from ancient and non-western cultures to modern philosophical and psychological ideas on the nature of human life and society. Furthermore, within his own spheres of creativity he has shown himself to be a truly multi-faceted practitioner by excelling, not only in his art, but also in his poetry, his highly-admired musical composition and performance, as well as in his own illuminating and impassioned writings on what it means to be an artist. We must remember, however, that for Alan these creative achievements are just part of a whole kaleidoscope of other various activities - such as flying, sailing, scuba-diving and gardening which have also been an essential part of Alan’s joy in life. Few would challenge the resounding statement which Alan made at the end of a talk he gave at the University of Edinburgh in 1992:
I am totally involved in the state of TRUE LIVING
I AM LIFE’
Alan Davie, Kaleidoscope for a Parrot (1966). Oil on canvas. Donated by the artist in 1998. University of Edinburgh Art Collection
Alan Davie’s ECA Student Record. Edinburgh College of Art Archive.
Letter from ECA Principal, Hubert Wellington, to Davie when he was on active service in the Second World War. Edinburgh College of Art Archive.
Our post today comes from Natasha Russell, Graduate Studio Assistant in Printmaking at ECA. Recently we spent a couple of hours piecing together and marveling at a stack of 18 or so large scale oil based screen prints by the Artist Boris Bucan. These have recently been taken in by the Art Collection, gathered from the plan chests in the Print Workshop of Edinburgh College of Art where they had sat for almost three decades.
Viewing these prints was no easy feat as the prints measure two by two metres squared and are each made up of six pieces of thin cartridge-like paper. Spreading them out on the carpet between shifted tables we ordered and puzzled together the prints to form vibrant and masterfully composed posters.
The pieces here range from posters for Operas to Theatrical productions to National days. One of the posters is even for his own exhibition that exhibited these prints when they were last shown in Edinburgh, detailing, ‘Posters for Croatian National Theatre…Edinburgh College of Art…27 April 1984’. This solved the mystery of where they came from and how long they had been hiding in the plan chests.
While there are distinct motifs carrying between some of the prints, for example the geometric grass patterns, the posters vary widely in style. They span from scribbly crayon drawn monochrome prints for Puccini’s La Boheme to the bold colours of the checker-boarded ‘Faust’ that plays with a simple shape to create an optical illusion like scene. In this way his prints prove a great example of the diversity of this printmaking technique.
Bucan was born in Zagreb in 1947, where he continued to study and produce work as a graphic artist. Indeed most of these prints are printed with a mark of Zagreb Academy of Fine Arts. He is still working and exhibiting internationally.
We thought we share some of the collection we got out for Sport and Recreation Management students today. These pages are from three mid 20th century student notebooks on how to teach different forms of dance. Greek Dancing, Aesthetic Dancing and English Folk Dancing.
We enjoyed the descriptions of the character of dancing styles - National, Fantastic, Grotesque and Aerobatic!
Everyone has to be just a little be jealous of our teabreak view today! Edinburgh at its best! #glorious #CRCEDinburgh
On the 6th floor of the University of Edinburgh Main Library is a Pop Up Exhibition of items from the Edinburgh College of Art Archives. We wanted to share some of the recent finds from the typography department and ‘The Eagle Press’ that was run by the College.
Do come and have a look. If you have memories about the department or The Eagle Press, get in touch and email Rachel.Hosker@ed.ac.uk!
We all like to pretend that no-one touches the things in museums. Fact is, like it or not, people do. We have been working with ECA Postgraduate student Morgan Kinne for a little over a year to find a way for her to fingerprint parts of the ECA Cast Collection. We eventually found a solution that in no way harmed the casts and Morgan began dusting earlier this month. I’m delighted to say that this worked extremely well, as these images show. Morgan says of the project:
"I recently carried out a project in the sculpture court that involved myself dusting three of ECA’s plaster casts - Spinario, Dying Gaul and Castor and Pollux - for fingerprints. The prints reveal a part of the statues’ history that has gone unnoticed and stand as a record of the interactions between people and these statues and reveal a relationship between the art students and the art historical objects."
The Cast Collection at ECA was originally used for the purposes of formal drawing instruction at the College. While this is not the case today, projects like Morgan’s, and also Krijn de Koning’s Land, utilise the collection in exactly the same way - to support teaching and provide inspiration.
From 2003, the work of Edinburgh College of Art Fashion Student Veronica Renton.
A theme of black bead jewellery continued (just about seen) in our #MuseumSelfie from Wednesday!