Alex Flett; Tynemouth and Central St Martinís 1966 - 69
Like so many teenagers, when I decided at 16 that I was going to be an artist, my idea of art was to create pictures which looked like things. The Impressionists were the heroes and anything afterwards couldnít really be taken seriously as art. Later I discovered that such an attitude was normal and between 1996 and 1969, things changed. There were still elements which I had learned from Impressionism, but I had started from 1968 forward, when I went to St Martinís School of Art (now Central St Martinís) in London, to develop. I also built sculpture during this Foundation year, and when I started building sculpture in the mid nineteen nineties, I realised that as these early sculptures had gone, I was missing a certain link in my work. I now intend rebuilding one or two of these early pieces, but at the time I was obsessed with being a painter, and that was where I was heading.
Below left: Self portrait, oil on canvas, created at Tynemouth High School, 1966.
London in 68, 69 was an exciting place to be, and having the National Gallery within five minutes of the art school meant that many visits were made there. The Tate also was a revelation, and i was particularly influenced by the Ben Nicholson retrospective which the gallery hosted in that year.
I first lived with my Aunt and Uncle, then moved to a Hostel in Cadogan Square near the foot of the Kingís Road. From there i moved into a shared bedsit in Earlís Court and finally to a student house in Notting Hill
Below: Artist with mirrors, oil on board, painted in the basement bedsit in Earlís Court, 1969.
Right: Self portrait, oil on board 1968.
Above left: Still Life: Oil on board 1967.
Left: Nude study: Gouache on canvas, 1968/69.