Three of Scotland’s most influential artists have returned to their home city to pay tribute to their early inspiration in a major new exhibition at Aberdeen Art Gallery.
Now Lennox Dunbar, Arthur Watson and Ian Howard, the leading lights in Scottish contemporary art, have been back in the gallery which hugely influenced them over half a century ago.
The trio all attended Aberdeen Grammar School together in the 1960s.
Their art teacher Charles Hemingway insisted the school boys visit the collections weekly.
Arthur Watson told STV News: “We were able to see really current work and then exhibitions which originated in London would come straight to Aberdeen, so you were seeing exactly what was happening nationally with contemporary artists. That was something I don’t think a lot of other people had.
“We had to write a review of every exhibition which came to the gallery, so we were used to doing that by the time we went to art school.
“You weren’t just looking at stuff. You had to really think about what it was and why it had been done and why it was in the gallery, so it was really interesting.”
It was the beginning of an artistic journey which saw the friends go on to become nationally and internationally recognised artists.
The well-known artists have explored independent creative journeys producing a range of artwork including paintings, prints and sculpture.
Six decades on, the three are now paying tribute to those early influences in an impressive major new exhibition.
‘Constructive Narratives’ is a collection of the Aberdeen-born contemporaries new and early work, including some of the art which originally inspired them on their visits.
Lennox Dunbar said: “We are all members of the Royal Scottish Academy, so we have shown over the years since we were elected into the Academy.
“But never have we had such an opportunity to create such a big body of work which allows us effectively to have three one-person shows, so it is very special.”
Deirdre Grant of Aberdeen Art Gallery said: “We are delighting to be hosting this wonderful exhibition featuring new work by three Aberdeen artists who have made such a significant impact.
“Visitors will be able to see work from their early careers which was bought for the city’s collections . I think perhaps what people might know less is that they are teachers and educators too.
“So, they have taught at Scottish art school and shared their knowledge and skills nationally and internationally so they have really inspired generations of up and coming artists which I think is a wonderful thing.
Constructive Narratives at Aberdeen Art Gallery is a homecoming for three of Scotland’s foremost artists, all of whom are at the peak of their careers.
“Although we have all exhibited internationall,y it means more to be showing our work here in Aberdeen Art Gallery which was central to our art education and supported each of us while still young.
“The new exhibition space created by Gareth Hoskins is truly world class and it is an honour to install our work here. I hope we do it justice.”
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