RGU Art and Heritage isn’t just about paintings hanging on walls or other works created to engage an audience. It is much more about the people who make those objects. Here we have a newspaper headline from the Press and Journal in 1957. Leo Clegg, a talented sculptor, who was head of the Sculpture Department at Gray’s rescues an injured seaman who had fallen in the Albert Dock in Aberdeen Harbour. It was common for the Sculpture department and its surroundings at Gray’s to reflect Leo’s affinity with the sea via large ropes for anchors which sometimes would feature in graduates sculpture at that time. We are also aware of his remarkable bravery during WWII. There lies another story.
Derek Ashby 1926 – 2018
The time for another Gray’s School of Art Degree Show is upon us on this very day, this very moment and we wish to take the opportunity to jump back in time to the early 60s. Here we see the exuberant Derek Ashby teaching in the Gray’s Drawing and Painting department as he did between 1960 and 1987. This photograph was taken by Ceramics tutor Angus MacLeod, who wisely recorded the move from the Schoolhill building to the current building on the Garthdee campus. Derek will have witnessed many, many student shows during those years and he was still visiting the show in recent times. A former pilot, he was hugely enthusiastic and full of invention, even designing his own tools for the creation of his own work. He did not fear experimentation and most definitely embraced it. Below we have an example of a sculpture he created. This work which is held in the University collection is called ‘On Points’ and was constructed in steel circa 1968. We are very pleased to hold this work and others by the artist and we are sorry to hear of his passing.
Per ardua ad astra
Degree Show time is nearly here at Gray’s School of Art. Once more it is time for the School to get dressed up for an opening night and exciting exhibition. Lets look back in time at some of the former students and even a staff member too. Who knows what year this is? Or better still can you name the students and member of staff sitting on the steps where so many have gone before and many have gone since?