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Scotian News

March 2017

Edition 145


Congratulations to the following Former Pupils who have reached milestone birthdays this month:-

75 None

70 John Barry; Stephen Koral; Adrian Fallowfield; Stuart Taylor;

65  Michael Afec; Nicholas Brotchie; Melville Tennant; Charles Kerr; Paul Mulhern; Kevin Tierney;

60  Melvyn Petersen; Robert Hanna; Michael Smith;

50 John Leonard; Gregor McIntosh;

 School News

Changed e-mail addresses; Nick Shakespeare: Fr. Peter Kelly; David Brown; Peter Flanagan; Mike Smith, who is running in the Edinburgh half marathon. He wonders, if any others are taking part. He is running for Kidney Kids Scotland, as his nephew, a lanky 6footer, and a former Kidney Kids He still gets a lot of support from KKS. Mike wonders if anyone would like to sponsor him



New e-mail contact; Michael Finucane;

Alan Alcock and Torquil Mackenzie Buist  are feeling  feeling lonely. Anyone remember them? If you do, why not get in touch?

Scott Miller wrote after Mike Casey’s story:- Mike Casey,s story is the best I have ever heard. He mentioned his dad wad the last Bomber Command victim....my uncle was the 1 st...shot down as Bomber pilot on 4.9.39 on the 1 st raid of the war. To Brunsbuttl near Wilhelmshaven. 1 st GB casualty on that day . My dad on the other hand went right thru the way in the desert 8 th army without a scratch.

Lindsay please convey my thanks to Mike Casey

A great response was received after this article, all of it extremely positive. 

Raymond Ross wrote:-

On the Radical Road:
Hamish Henderson
Theatre Objektiv
An evocative and innovative drama shaped and sculpted from the poetry and songs of Hamish Henderson (1919-2002) taking us on a journey across Highland, Lowland and industrial landscapes, through childhood trauma, spiritual growth and exploration into the exhilarating, cacophonous and deeply morally challenging theatres of war in the Desert Campaign, the Invasion and Liberation of Sicily and Italy; and the consequent struggles for a new self-knowledge and cultural alignment in a battleground of conflicting experiences, emotions and ideas in post-war and present-day Scotland and Europe.

A uniquely structured, experimental, dramatic evocation of the man and his ideas through poetry and songs without narrative intervention; a radical fusion employing a lyrical and percussive soundscape, movement and visual image, choral and individual voices, for the first time presenting a holistic and seamless view of the poet and songwriter in a new and challenging dramatic whole.

A fully embodied, full-blooded enactment of the ‘Radical Road’ which Henderson dedicated his life to, offering us a fresh and vital perspective on who we are, where we came from and how we might move forward by embracing Henderson’s vision of a people’s culture: a new democratic art for here and now.

Scripted and directed by Raymond Raszkowski Ross

Musical director Alastair McDonald
Isabella Jarrett, Vanda De Luca, Alastair McDonald, Gavin Paul
27 April – 1 May - 7.30pm (50 mins) – £12 (£10)
Anatomy Theatre, SUMMERHALL – Edinburgh

www.summerhall.co.uk – 0131 560 1581
www.tracscotland.org/tradfest – 0131 556 9579
Theatre Objektiv Company Registration Number: SC240330
Charity Number: SC 033945 Registered Office: 9 Ainslie Place, Edinburgh EH3 6AT

Ricky Demarco wrote:-



I wish to inform all those reading this newsletter that Terry Newman is enjoying a well-earned break during this Easter until the 18th April, so I am operating the office of The Demarco European Art Foundation with Fernanda Zei, who has worked voluntarily for the past two months to transform the physical reality of The Demarco Archive as it is stored and partially exhibited at Summerhall Arts Centre.

Fernanda Zei is an Italo-Brazilian artist. Last week she received the good news that she has an unconditional entry into the Sculpture School of Edinburgh College of Art commencing in September.

Fernanda Zei is working with Cassandre Langlois, a graduate in Art History at The Sorbonne University, in Paris. She is the first French academic “intern” working on The Demarco Archive.

After her five years of undergraduate studies, Cassandre is now in her second year in another five-year course at The University of Arras. This course is focussed on Performing Arts. It includes studies of film, theatre, dance, music and what is known as “Performance Art”. This means she is making a particular study of the life and art of Joseph Beuys. She has decided to use The Demarco Archive “as an academic resource” because of the artworks made by Joseph Beuys inspired by the Celtic culture in Europe, particularly in Scotland.

Last week, both Fernanda Zei and Cassandre Langlois had a meeting with Giles Sutherland, who is the art critic in Scotland of The Times in London. It should be noted that, in recent years, he has been studying for a doctoral thesis at the University of Dundee with special interest in the Demarco Gallery’s concept of Edinburgh Arts and its extension on ‘The Road to Meikle Seggie’. Edinburgh Arts was planned as an experimental academic course of study in collaboration with Edinburgh University during the period of the Edinburgh Festival.

Giles Sutherland is now well placed to write my biography, particularly during this year which marks the seventieth anniversary of the official Edinburgh International Festival, coinciding with the hundredth anniversary of The Russian Revolution and the hundredth anniversary of The Battle of Arras. It was on this tragic large scale field of battle that a large number of Scottish soldiers lost their lives together with innumerable others who were injured. Many of them suffered what was then known as ‘Shell Shock’.

It should be noted that a number of these injured soldiers received treatment in what was known Craiglockhart Military Hospital. This historic building is now part of Edinburgh’s Napier University. It now houses what is known as The War Poets Archive. This archive should surely be studied together with The Demarco Archive.

I am heartened by the fact that Aletia Badenhorst, as a post doctoral student at Leeds Becket University, is preparing what should be a welcome and much needed addition to The Demarco European Art Foundation 2017 Festival Programme. In collaboration with Fernanda Zei, she is creating an entire room at Summerhall as a homage to that section of The Demarco Archive dedicated to “Performance Art”. I regard Aletia Badenhorst as a most important exponent of “Performance Art” with particular insight into this most important aspect of The Demarco Archive.

It should not be forgotten that one of the most important Beuys’ master works entitled ‘The Three Pots Action’ should be considered as a blessing of the space in which he worked in 1973. This space was in the most unlikely shape of the then dilapidated Forrest Hill Poorhouse buildings in Edinburgh. They were built within the precinct of the cemetery encircling the medieval Franciscan Monastery. Since The Protestant Reformation, it is now known as Greyfriars Kirk.

This area was once known as the Edinburgh version of London’s Bedlam. This means it began as a medieval hospital and poorhouse. It was also a prison. It was also a place where Joseph Beuys collaborated with Tadeusz Kantor and all the members of his Cricot Two Theatre and with Paul Neagu, and also Jimmy Boyle as an inmate of The Special Unit of Her Majesty’s Barlinnie Prison. He also worked with faculty members and students of The Demarco Gallery’s “Edinburgh Arts” experimental University linked to the Edinburgh University’s schools of Scottish and Extra-Mural studies.

The Edinburgh Arts faculty included Buckminster Fuller, Caroline Tisdall, Bill Beech, Patrick Reyntiens and Fr. Anthony Ross, the Dominican priest and Chaplain to the Roman Catholic students of Edinburgh University. He was a key contributor to the Edinburgh Arts three-day conference entitled ‘The Black and White Oil Show’. This involved Joseph Beuys in a six-hour performance in collaboration with Buckminster Fuller. The conference was about the future of Scotland with or without North Sea Oil as a non-renewable energy source. Other speakers included the Scottish sculptor Gerald Laing, Lord John Bute, Charles Stephens and Michael Spens, the publisher of Studio International. Also attending were recent graduates of Oxford University. They included Sandy Nairne, Mark Francis and Tina Brown.

Joseph Beuys accepted the invitation of Tadeusz Kantor to participate in a performance of The Cricot Two Theatre production of the Witkiewicz play entitled “Lovelies and Dowdies”. Amongst others attending this unforgettable Kantor master piece were Sean Connery, Jenny Agutter, Auberon Waugh, John Calder, Lord John Binning and Eduardo Paolozzi. The year before other art world luminaries entered through the doors of the Poorhouse as members of the audience attending Kantor’s production of another Witkiewicz play entitled “The Water Hen”. Among them were Sir Richard Eyre, Hamish Henderson, Frank Dunlop, John Calder and the world famous Hollywood film actress Claudette Colbert, Cordelia Oliver, George Oliver and Rsyzard Stanislawski.

Joseph Beuys was inspired by the main doorway to the Forrest Hill Poorhouse and in 1981 he transformed these timeworn weather-beaten doors into one of the eleven master works he made in Scotland. This large-scale sculpture is now in the collection of the Mönchengladbach Abteiberg Museum. To this day, I lament the fact that it is not in the collection of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, as it continues to give me much needed inspiration of Joseph Beuys genius as a teacher. It is entitled “New Beginnings are in the Offing”.

The 2017 month of March has passed with immoderate speed. However it gave me inspiring memories such as that of the private view of an exhibition in The Maclaurin Art Gallery in its 18th century location of Rozelle House surrounded with its forested parkland in the Ayrshire village of Alloway, close to the birthplace of Robert Burns.

This Maclaurin Gallery exhibition was dedicated to the art and all too-short life of Yvonne Hawker. She found inspiration, like Burns, in the uniquely beautiful sea-girt landscape of Ayrshire in that particular part I link with the work of the Association of Friends of Rozelle House Galleries. They include Struan Stevenson, Celia Stevenson, Ian and Fiona Robertson. My Rozelle House memories are also entwined with those of Jamie Hunter Blair and his beloved Blairquhan House and Estate and, of course, Rory McEwen, the first Scottish artist to befriend Joseph Beuys in Scotland, as well as Duncan MacFarlane and his family who gave the most generous welcome to the faculty and students of Edinburgh Arts who had flown transatlantic to land at Prestwick airport in 1972. Their first experience of Scotland was the beach below Culzean Castle on the shoreline of the Firth of Clyde. The Edinburgh Arts participants were provided with their first breakfast in Scotland within the house designed and built by Duncan MacFarlane for himself and his family to live literally within walking distance of the Ayrshire shoreline.

One of my March memories was of the world of “The Glasglow Girls”. The Association of Glasgow Women Artists came into being in response to the male dominated nineteenth century world of the “Glasgow Boys”. They provide an important manifestation of the West of Scotland’s cultural heritage. I was invited to speak on the occasion of their association dinner in Glasgow’s Western Club. I spoke of my wartime childhood in the years when my father was a manager of a remarkable “Art Deco” building in Largs. This was a splendid example of the architecture of John Houston. It was known to pre-war Glaswegian holiday-makers as “The Moorings”. It was situated literally beside the harbour of Largs and gave me the delightful sight of countless paddle steamers making their daily voyages upon the waters of the Firth of Clyde towards the Islands of Cumbrae, Arran, Bute and beyond towards the world of the Hebredean Highlands and Islands. Sadly, the Moorings no longer exists, but, thankfully, another example of John Houston’s genius exists in the reality of the Nardini cafe and restaurant.
My post-prandial talk was essentially inspired by the cultural heritage of Glasgow, so very different from that of Edinburgh.

Also in March, I revived my memories of the ten years of my life (1957 to 67) as the Art Master at Duns Scotus Academy when I was invited to speak to the upper sixth form art students at Glenalmond College. They had been well prepared by Bing Wang the head of the Glenalmond Art Department and his colleagues Kate Butler and Margaret Willington so that I could discuss the significance of J. F. Martel’s book entitled “Reclaiming Art in the Age of Artifice” and the writings of Gaston Bachelard, the French phenomenologist, who stated “Art Originates on the Edge of Reverie”.
I do hope that there will be a Glenalmond dimension to the exhibition I am planning for this year’s Edinburgh Festival. I am inspired by the Glenalmond College’s Trinity Chapel as a war memorial.

The Edinburgh Festival was born as a direct result of the Second World War, because the Festival’s founders believed in the healing powers of art as an antidote to warfare. The Edinburgh Festival is therefore inextricably linked to all expressions of art as a healing balm and therefore to all European War Memorials. Joseph Beuys was inspired by the war memorial in Edinburgh University’s “Old Quad”.

I am saddened by the fact that I did not have the opportunity to show him The National War Memorial in Edinburgh Castle, or indeed the War Memorial of my own school, Holy Cross Academy, or for that matter the very impressive war memorials of Loretto School, Oakham School and Downside School. Together they make it impossible for me to forget the school-boy generations who died in the tragedy of the two world wars. The 70th anniversary of The Edinburgh Festival causes me to consider the significance of the war memorials of these schools which have contributed significantly to The Demarco Gallery Edinburgh Festival theatre programmes over many decades.

The Venice Biennale “press days” will begin on the 10th May. I feel morally obliged to contribute to this year’s Biennale as I have attended every Biennale since 1968. I regard them all as a challenge to The Edinburgh Festival to take seriously the language of the Contemporary Visual Arts.
I am particularly interested in the art of Rachel Maclean. She has been chosen to represent Scotland at this year’s Biennale. I was most impressed by the preview I experienced of her concept of the Scottish Pavilion’s exhibition in Venice when I attended the “Alchemy Film Festival” at the end of March. It took place in Hawick under the direction of the Festival’s founder Richard Ashrowan. He and Rachel Maclean will collaborate to make this year’s Scottish Pavilion at the Biennale relate to the history of one of the most beautiful churches in Venice. It is now deconsecrated and is a perfect example of the early Renaissance world of Venice - a source of undoubted inspiration for Rachel Maclean.

Rachel Maclean’s contribution to the “Alchemy Film Festival” was preceded by the showing of Timothy Neat’s film entitled “Play Me Something”. This acclaimed prize-winning film should also be shown in Venice because it was filmed both in Venice and on the Hebridean Island of Barra. It honoured both John Berger and Hamish Henderson.

For many years, Timothy Neat was in fruitful collaboration with John Berger right up until John Berger’s recent death just after his 90th birthday. This collaboration has resulted in Timothy Neat’s latest film entitled “EUROPA 2017: THE INKBLOT TEST”. I do believe it aspires to the condition of an important work of art. It must surely be shown in Venice this year! It is in many ways a homage to John Berger. It is certainly a direct result of the longstanding friendship between John Berger and Timothy Neat.

I am ending this Easter Newsletter with the thought that the trees in Edinburgh are beginning to show distinct signs of Spring weather. I therefore wish everyone reading this newsletter the joy and blessings of this year’s Eastertide.

I would like to thank all those who have experienced The Edinburgh Festival in its long history to consider responding to this newsletter with their personal memories of The Edinburgh Festival and in particular the history of The Demarco Gallery’s contributions to the Festival, involving festival highlights relating to Joseph Beuys, Paul Neagu, Tadeusz Kantor and Ian Hamilton Finlay, as well as The Demarco Gallery’s Shakespeare theatre productions on the Island of Inchcolm.

I would be pleased to see your Edinburgh Festival memories on the attached document. It can be a written statement or it can take the form of collage of memorabilia, photographs or drawings together with text. Please send it via email richard@richarddemarco.org or by postal address to The Demarco European Art Foundation 1, Milkhall Cottages Howgate, Penicuik, Midlothian EH26 8PX Scotland UK.

Canon Alan Finley sent the following  joke. You will have to look items up.

A thief in Paris planned to steal some paintings from the Louvre After careful planning, he got past security, stole the paintings,and made it safely to his van.

However, he was captured only two blocks away when his van ran out of gas
When asked how he could mastermind such a crime and then make such an
obvious error, he replied,
'Monsieur, that is the reason I stolethe paintings.'

I had no Monet

To buy Degas

To make the Van Gogh.'

See if you have De Gaulle tosend this on to someone else....

I sent it to you because I figuredI had nothing Toulouse .

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