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Scotian News

July 2015

Edition 126


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

75 Phil Doherty;

70 Charles Duthie; Gerry O’Connell; Rupert Burrington; David Walls;

65 Michael Malone; Colin Lees; Tony Walker;

60  Peter Kozuk; Douglas Robertson; Vincent McLay; Michael Windross; Thomas McNeely; Francis Lappin;

50 Adam Young; Edward McCabe;

 School News

We regret to announce the death of Victor Contini’s mother. Condolences are offered.

We are delighted to report that Ricky Demarco celebrated his 85th birthday this month. He sent your scribe an invitation to his birthday bash, but, unfortunately, he was unable to attend. His e-mail and newsletter is published below:-

Below is a photo of Richard and the Highland Shakespeare Company at Richard's 85th birthday celebration at Fingask Castle.

Below is a photo of Richard and the Highland Shakespeare Company at Richard's 85th birthday celebration at Fingask Castle.

Richard Demarco's 85th Birthday

13TH July 2015
I am very pleased that my 85th birthday party at Fingask Castle yesterday afternoon was blessed with summer weather and that everyone who attended enjoyed themselves.  The guests were royally entertained by The Highland Shakespeare Company production which was essentially a multi-lingual celebration of the genius of Shakespeare, inspired by the beauty of the parkland of Fingask.  I am therefore indebted to Sunny Moodie and his fellow thespians for presenting a special manifestation of open-air promenade theatre. I would like to think there could be an enlarged version of this delightful production as part of the Demarco European Art Foundation 2015 Edinburgh Festival programme.
I am pleased also that significant numbers of my book entitled “The Road to Meikle Seggie” were sold. Now I can see that the main theme of this publication is embedded in The Demarco Archive. I am indebted to the Italian Cultural Institute of Scotland and to The Scottish Storytelling Centre for their preparedness to collaborate in producing this bilingual publication in English and Italian.  This is a Luath Press publication so if anyone is interested in acquiring a copy they should either contact me through the Demarco European Art Foundation or through Luath Press.  I am delighted that the Luath Press has been invited to present this publication at The Pisa Book Festival in November.
I am attaching information with regard to my plans for The Association of Friends of the Demarco Archive.  I have been grateful to the support of this Association over the past six years both at Craigcrook Castle and now at Robert McDowell’s Summerhall Arts Centre. The Edinburgh Festival 2015 is offering yet again a challenge which I must accept in the form of an exhibition celebrating certain aspects of the Demarco Archive with special focus on the cultural dialogues between Scotland and Poland, Scotland and Romania, Scotland and France, Scotland and Spain and Scotland and Italy.  I am also very conscious of the impending cost of administrating the programme and paying the Edinburgh Council rates on the rooms which we occupy at Summerhall as well as the need to buy artworks by certain artists whose contribution to the history of the archive is of special relevance. 
Immediately after the Festival, I must focus upon the programme that I have devised in the form of a five-day master class at Bath Spa University from the 14th of September.  I would like to think that I am in the position to consider two publications: one defining this master class and the other defining the Demarco European Art Foundation’s Edinburgh Festival programme.
Another challenge awaits in October when there will be an exhibition celebrating the art and life of Tadeusz Kantor in this year which has been designated by UNESCO as a year in which the genius of Kantor is celebrated in the 100th anniversary of his birth.  This will take the form of an exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow (MOCAK). The exhibition will be focussed on the ways in which Tadeusz Kantor collaborated with Joseph Beuys in Edinburgh under the aegis of the Demarco Gallery’s 1973 summer school, “Edinburgh Arts”.
Thereafter, I must take into account the fact that the archivists and librarians of The Kandinsky Archive in the Pompidou Centre in Paris wish to present an exhibition of the Demarco Archives and Art Collection beginning in the early summer of 2016. The Pompidou Centre is, of course, The French National Gallery of Modern Art. I would like to think that this exhibition will coincide with another  which should be taking the form of an exhibition of the Demarco Archives  in the library of the University of Warsaw.  This library is outstanding as an example of a “state of the art” modern work of architecture which incorporates a botanic garden on its roof.
Now at the age of 85, I have much work to do and I certainly need the support of The Association of Friends of the Demarco Archive.  Over the past eighteen months, The Scottish Government has set in motion a system of support which will provide long term funding to enable the Demarco Archive to be housed and exhibited under the roof of a new Scottish National Gallery building planned to open in 2020 to accommodate all the archives associated with modern art in Scotland. 
Regarding the immediate future, the next three months will present many more challenges which will extend the very nature of the archive. In early August, as part of the Demarco European Art Foundation’s Edinburgh Festival programme, there will be a one-day symposium focussed on the cultural dialogue between Scotland and the Basque region of Spain. This symposium will focus on the fact that Bilbao has its own version of Room 13, inspired by the fact that 21 years ago the concept of Room 13 as a highly successful experiment in primary school education became a reality in the Primary School of Caol in a district of the town of Fort William located in the West Highlands of Scotland. This symposium will also celebrate the fact that this year, for the first time in the 69 year history of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, there will be a Basque Dimension in the form of a work of theatre entitled “Tutto Contro Verdi”, performed by a Bilbao-based theatre company. Bilbao and Edinburgh are two European cities which have much in common including the fact that both are built on seven hills. I have just received the good news that the City of Bilbao will be sending an official delegation  to attend the symposium and the premiere of Bilbao’s contribution to the Fringe Festival programme.
I am indebted to Andrew and Helen and Murray Threipland for their preparedness to invite my friends to my 85th birthday party in their entrancing Fingask world. For many years I have looked to this magical world to provide me with the experience of “The Fingask Follies” –a joyful and highly professional manifestation of theatre.  The Fingask Follies embodies the spirit of the early years of the Edinburgh Festival. They also bring back memories of the early days of the Traverse Theatre in St. James Court and John Calder’s Ledlanet Nights Opera Festival, a Scottish version of the Glyndebourne Festival Opera.
In September, I am looking forward to the inspiring world of Bath Spa University Corsham Court, experiencing the culture of the Elizabethan Age which gave the world a unique combination of the genius of Shakespeare and the garden scape of Capability Brown—as well as the Italian Renaissance and the artists of the St. Ives School in the 1960s and 1970s.
At 85 years old, I count my blessing and I think of all my friends who, as my contemporaries, are no longer alive. I have a moral obligation to honour them and all the ways in which they contributed to the Demarco Archive. I must therefore question the use of the word “archive” to describe my lifetime’s work; I think that it is essentially a large-scale collaborative art work. In German there is a word that describes it as a “total artwork”.  That word is ”gesamtkunstwerk”.  I hope you can consider this definition and how I must add to this artwork in the immediate future so that I  can feel that I am accompanied by my friends as I continue to explore The Road to Meikle Seggie.

David Walls contacted us with the following:-

Lothian Broadband have been nominated for the Scottish Government Rural Innovators Award. We are one of three short-listed. If you could circulate this link and ask if people would vote for us, that would be great..... plus voting yourself, of course... J Click on us and then click on vote....


Recent communication:- Peter Slepokura;

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