Birds of a Feather

STILL LIFE WITH PARROT was painted in 2006 by Alexander Fraser RSA. It is a complex still life composition demonstrating truly wonderful draughtsmanship.

But how do you tackle such a complex composition?

Alexander Fraser would position all the physical juxtaposed paper material and three dimensional objects on his studio floor in Muchalls. Whole areas of his studio would be consumed with layouts such as this, as he developed his concepts for his paintings.

Often, as in this painting, references are found for his own previous work – in the form of exhibition catalogues. Also included would be contrasting visual references by those that he greatly admired – such as Velázquez, (the egg), the Dutch Masters, Van Eyk, Vermeer & Durer (the use of perspective distortion) and Brueghel.

A star in this composition, the stuffed African Grey Parrot sat on the studio floor along with the documents. It was collected by the artist from a junk shop in Market Street, Aberdeen. A small simply formed glass with flowers also features amidst the undulating sea of papers.

The same shapely formed glass (featuring different flowers) was the subject of various earlier paintings by the artist.

Indeed it reaappears within the sea of documents in Still Life with Parrot in the form of an image of a painting featured in a previous exhibition catalogue by the artist.

Alexander Fraser was an avid reader and enjoyed the work of Jorge Louis Borges and Umberto Ecco.

At the bottom of a garden in the North East village of Muchalls Fraser would create his very own Garden of Forking Paths, his own maze of magical realism using oil paint on canvas. His thoughtful and clever compositional designs weave in and out through time and we are most grateful that we can share and enjoy them on this day and every other.

Alexander Fraser RSA studied at Gray’s School of Art between 1958 and 1962. He would become a highly respected senior lecturer in Drawing and Painting at the School in Aberdeen.

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Birds of a Feather

Sharp dressed puffins featured amidst Adam Johannesson’s wonderful body of work which he created for his project The Faroe Islands: A Different Kind of Museum. Adam shines an illuminating light on the stunning and refreshing location of the Faroe Islands which is special to Adam. The young artist received an RGU Visual Communication Purchase Award in 2019 for his terrific body of work created for his graduation year final Show.

Just where are the Faroe Islands? How do you get there?

How far are they from:

Iceland 690 km
UK 750 km
Norway837 km

Visit Adam’s website with its wow factor Here

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Birds of a Feather

Detail of PUFFIN WRECK by MARY-ANN ORR ( Lunan Bay, 3rd May 2013)

ARTISTS STATEMENT-

The event of the March 2013 Puffin ‘Wreck’, was a powerful testimony to the devastation of Climate Change and the subsequent 83 Puffin Carcasses that I gathered on a stretch of beach less than a mile long presented itself as a metaphor for the intangibility of life. The sequence of drapes and veils separate the material substance of life from the ethereal . The pen and ink drawings represent not only my own, but every living creatures affinity to the natural world.

We share the same fate, death, we share the same planet- EARTH.

Mary-Ann Orr received an RGU Printmaking Purchase Award in 2013 for this work created as part of her Degree Show at Gray’s School of Art.

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Birds of a Feather

Large plaster cast copy of Horus the Falcon.

The ancient Egyptians believed that all deities assumed animal form when on Earth and the falcon became associated with the god Horus. Horus was believed to be the son of Osiris and Isis. Destined to be the protector of the reigning pharaoh, Horus would be represented in full falcon form and sometimes as a falcon headed man.

Horus was one of the earliest and most important gods of ancient Egypt. As a falcon he was a sky god and he was considered a divine child.

Where’s the bag of millet?

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Birds of a Feather

This lean bird would have seen many journeys to the hungry diner’s appetite in the School of Domestic Science in Aberdeen.

RGU Art and Heritage hold various moulds, utensils and pieces of equipment used by students whilst training and studying courses leading them to develop careers in the catering and hospitality industries.

Everything has to be designed by someone. Even Chickens!

Must be close to lunch time. I’m feeling peckish…

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Birds of a Feather

This delightful satin stitch and freestyle embroidery is one of the many Needlework Development Scheme objects held in the RGU Art and Heritage Collection in Aberdeen Scotland.

This particular ceremonial towel with its highly decorative flora and exotic birds hails from Spain.

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