Flashback Friday

‘One’ by Anna Gray 2016           Digital print on paper

This week we bounce back in time to 2016 and the wonderful work by Anna Gray. The piece ‘One’ is held in RGUs Art Collection and her work has previously been displayed with a selection of other Gray’s graduates Degree Show work at Heritage Environment Scotland’s Duff House. 

Artist’s statement

A being that is not human, such as one that has been developed in some way, may view the world in a different light. This can be said to be the root of post human fear. Looking at the post human condition and by taking a religious angle and view point to my work I have been exploring how similar the ideas of these two seemingly very different subjects are. This has led me to creating pieces that resonate with tradition and modern day ideas. Within my work I try and balance these subjects together with hopes that the viewer can see and feel a familiarity with the pieces, a sense of comfort but also undertones of something other.


Centre page spread of ‘A Cycle of Pattern’ by Charles Shearer 1979-80

On this our final day of our exhibition ‘TERRAIN’ it brings us to look closely at the work of Charles Shearer who studied at Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen and at the Royal College of Art, London where he focused on illustration.  Since graduating in 1983, the Orcadian has taught at numerous art schools whilst continuing with his own practice. He favours drawing and painting on location in a process he describes as ‘creative interpretation of place and experience’. Charles now teaches printmaking in numerous art schools and keeps up his professional practice via commissions for books and magazines, such as Faber & Faber, poetry and prose magazine Ambit, and books by the poet George Mackay Brown. Charles Shearer has a particular fascination for the contrast of the natural environment and architectural features of the landscape which he describes as ‘man’s order within nature’.  This image is a detail of the centre page for a booklet titled ‘A Cycle of Pattern’ which the artist created during his years of study at Gray’s School of Art. 

Flashback Friday

The Robert Gordon


Jumping back in time to 1968 and we catch the breeze with the two-masted stay-sail schooner ‘Robert Gordon’ which was specially built for the School of Navigation.  The school ran courses training students to be Masters, Mates, Second Mates and Skippers and the schooner enabled students to gain experience in sea going training.

The schooner was later sold to an entrepreneur who wished to use it for holiday bookings in the Mediterranean.  However, the vessel ran aground off the east coast of England and drugs were discovered aboard. British Customs had been tracking the vessel since she had picked up her consignment in the Mediterranean.  Stay on an even keel folks…


The Shadow Oil on canvas by Mary Gillies

This small vivid composition by artist Mary Gillies was inspired by a piece of writing by Carl Jung. The boy in the foreground is being followed by the small archetypal figure of his unconscious shadow. Mary Gillies painted this in Lennoxtown where she lived. The ruined Campsie High Church and cemetery is seen in the background.  Just one of several works on display in our exhibition TERRAIN which runs until noon on Friday 30th in the Sir Ian Wood Building of Robert Gordon University.


Print by Kunisada c1855

Whilst not the work of Gray’s School of Art alumni the existence of this print in the collection is believed to have been due to its use as a teaching tool.  We have included this compostion in the current exhibition for a hint of Japanese landscape seen in the background of this delicate composition.

Kunisada is believed to have produced over 20,000 designs in his career.


Festive Nissen hut with ominous plume 2007

This mixed media composition by former Gray’s School of Art tutor Malcolm McCoig is another work we hold in the collection.  A painter, printmaker, designer and teacher.  He was born in Greenock, Renfrewshire. He studied at The Glasgow School of Art and in  1964 he was appointed head of the textile department at Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen. McCoig was artist-in-residence at Soulesquoi Printmakers, in Orkney, and in 1988 was visiting lecturer at the University of Nigeria. Among the awards he won were a Scottish Arts Council Award in 1975 and an Arts Council Bursary to Madison, Wisconsin.