In early January 2014, a group of third year students from the Painting and Printmaking Department at The Glasgow School of Art embarked on a project, to make work in response to the third and last exhibition in The Scottish Colourist Series, looking at the work of J.D. Fergusson. The brief for the project was deliberately open - the students were free to respond to any aspect of the exhibition, and were introduced not only to the life and work of John Duncan Fergusson (1874-1961) but also the wealth of archival material supporting the exhibition, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art Library and Archive collections (including artists’ books), and the space of the Keiller Library itself.
This collaborative project between the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art Library and Archive and The Glasgow School of Art has sought to open up a dialogue between the Scottish Colourists and the art students of today. What has resulted is a lively engagement with ideas surrounding the archive and the studio, and a deconstruction of the artist’s practice in the earlier part of the 20th century.
According to anecdotal evidence, Fergusson was in the habit of coating his fruit in paint before starting on a still-life painting. Much of the work on display seeks to peel back that coat of paint and cut into the fruit beneath – looking anew at Fergusson’s work, life and influences.
Image: © Rennie Buenting, Archival, etching and aquatint on paper, 2014