This project had its origins in trying to establish just how far one could push portraiture. I am asking the question, ‘Can a collection of objects reflect a human life?’
My initial portrait was of a good friend, the late Rev Ruth Scott, who spent her ministry in the area of conflict resolution, working in many troubled regions of the world. When Ruth asked me to make her portrait she was terminally ill and it seemed to me that a traditional portrait didn’t do justice to a woman who had been both beautiful and full of life and energy. To depict her I focused on her efforts to build bridges between resolute enemies.
I visited the river in a Scottish glen at a place called Vicar’s Bridge, chose a well washed river stone and cast it in bronze as a metaphor for her head. Next to it I placed a penny whistle as a metaphor for her voice. The two objects were placed on a gridded bronze base where the combination of head and flute linked two separate areas.
Like so much of Ruth’s life, her suggestions triggered other ideas and actions.
Several other portraits in bronze have followed.
‘Portrait of an Artist Abandoned by His Muse’ was shown in the RSA Annual Exhibition 2020
‘Portrait of a Poet’ and ‘Portrait of the Artist’ were shown at the MacRobert Arts Centre, University of Stirling.