Alex Flett; the Slade 1972 - 1974
No-one was more surprised than me when I was offered a place in the post graduate painting department of the Slade School, but at least there were familiar faces there. The painter Paul Cheetham, a colleague from Winchester, and Jeff Dellow whom I knew from St Martin’s both went up at the same time. Teaching there at the time were the British Cubist Keith Vaughan, who became my tutor, Mick Davis, Tess Jaray and Malcolm Hughes. William Turnbull was the post graduate Professor, and Coldstream was Slade Professor. Later i realised that i had become, in the words of Terry Frost “a Coldstream Guard.”
Triptych. Oil on paper 1971. Triptych. Oil on paper 1972
The connection back to Winchester remained during this time and I was able to persuade the Slade to bring in Patrick Heron, and others teaching in Winchester for day visists, such as the American artist Edward Halter Meneeley, the English artist Davis Haughton.
Left: Study for “Henge”. Oil on paper 1972
. Left: Standing stones in Cornwall which became the model for “Henge”.
My connection to Cornwall continued through my time at the Slade, but the emphasis changed to that of the ancient monuments which litter the landscape in that most Celtic part of England. A colleague from Winchester, David Ward had rented a studio there and it was through him, and Tony O’Malley, that I met the Scottish poet Sydney Graham who lived in Madron, and the artist Brian Wynter. Living in London, finances to maintain myself at Slade became so tight, that I worked part time for a vehicle rental company. The plus side of this part time work was that I able to rent a car very cheaply to make these Cornish trips.
Above: Installation Slade post graduate Exhibition 1974. Left, “Skyscape” oil on canvas 6ft x 6ft. Centre, “Blue Henge” oil on canvas 2ft 6ins x 5 ft. Right, “Henge” oil on canvas 6ft x 8ft.
Left: Installation Slade post graduate Exhibition 1974. Oil on paper studies.