Alex Flett; Winchester 1969 - 1972
In 1969 I became part of the Painting Department of Winchester School of Art. Teaching there at that time was the Scottish artist John Bellany, who sent me to the Citee Des Artes in Paris for a few weeks where I came face to face with art in the Louvre, and other galleries, which I had previously only known from book illustrations. I was mentored by the French artist John Louis Roiseaux, and one of the things he took me to was the Rodin Museum. It took some years for the influence of that visit to sink in, and the fact that Rodin did most of his sketches in watercolour, a seemingly odd thing for a sculptor to do. However, that was for the future. My aim was still to be a Painter. It was there I thought that art really did things.
Also teaching at Winchester was the artist Patrick Heron, once described, unfairly I feel, by the John Elderfield (Art Historian and Senior Curator of MoMA in New York) as a “boring Englishman.” Elderfield at this time also taught Art History at Winchester, something which was going to play a part later in my life when I spent time lecturing in the subject at the University of Aberdeen and at the Open University in Scotland. Heron took a group of students to St Ives in 1971, and after meeting both Roger Hilton and the Irish artist Tony O’Malley, the work began to change from the expressionist format into something more constructed and solid.
Left: Landscape. Oil on canvas 1970 (3ft x 5ft) 1970
Above: Cornish landscape. Oil encaustic on canvas (2ft 6 ins x 5ft) 1971
Left: Seascape, Oil on canvas (2ft 6 ins x 5ft) 1970
Left: Cornish Landscape No9, Oil Encaustic on canvas (5ft x 5ft) 1971
Above: Exhibition Installation, Winchester School of Art Refectory 1971/72. On the left, Triptych (6ft x 20ft, Oil on canvas encaustic),
On the right, Red Slice (6ft x 8ft Oil on canvas encaustic).