Alex Flett; Udny, Aberdeen 1989 – 1994
In 1988, I received a letter from the University of Aberdeen asking if I would be willing to take over the public art history lectures as the lecturer who was intending doing them had died suddenly. Despite my training being in Fine Art rather the more academic History of Art, I decided to accept what would be for me, a challenge. A little later, the Open University asked me to tutor their Modern Art and Modernism course, and the Peacock Artists Printmakers Workshop asked me to become their Education officer. I found myself becoming an academic, and it was here that the lectures I remember from John Elderfield in Winchester started to be very useful. To counteract the increasing academic pressure, I started using the printing facilities at Peacock.
Below: The Flower Suite. Aquatint etchings 1991
As part of life in an academic setting, there is pressure to research and publish, particularly in a prestigious University such as Aberdeen. I decided to work on Dante, but not to work on the poet to publish in some obscure journal which few would read, but to examine Dante in the same manner as many artists have done in the past. I started making etchings, and using these I gave a lecture to the Dante society in the University. After all, every time an artist exhibits work, it is a form of public scrutiny. The lecture was a success.
Below: Charon, aquatint colour etching 1992
Other works continued and one study based on the Dante Suite went into Witnesses of Existence, a British Affirmation put together by Richard Demarco and smuggled into Sarajevo in the midst of the Balkans War. Studies of Eunice also continued.
Below: Eunice sleeping, aquatint etching 1992.
Left: Study of Eunice, watercolour and gouache 1994.