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Scott Sutherland

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Joined: 20 Dec 2006
Posts: 931
Location: Glasgow

PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 9:44 pm    Post subject: Scott Sutherland Reply with quote

Scott Sutherland 1910 - 1984
Commando Memorial, Spean Bridge, Lochaber.
Black Watch Memorial, Powrie Brae, Dundee.
Hugh Dowding Memorial, Moffat, Annandale & Eskdale

Born 15th May 1910 in Wick, the son of the Headmaster of Wick Academy Major David Sutherland. Mother Nellie Allan Scott.
Educated at Wick Academy (there is a small model of Sutherland’s in Wick Heritage Centre).

1928 Attended Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen

1929 His father took him to Edinburgh to discuss his son’s ambition to become a sculptor with the head of sculpture at the ECA Alexander Carrick. From 1929 till 1933 Attended the college studying under Carrick who appears to have taken on the roll of a fatherly figure and mentor to the young ‘Scotty’.

1933 Completed Post Graduate and Fellowship.

1934 Sutherland was an outstanding student winning a string of RSA prizes and was awarded a scholarship to L’Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. He spent time studying under the Matel Brothers in their Paris Atelier. The RSA Obituary states that this had a great influence on ‘Scotty’s’ later works as evident in such works as ‘L’Adoration’.

1934-35 Studied sculpture in Egypt, Greece, Italy, France and Germany on a Carnegie Scholarship in company (at least in Italy) with fellow student and sculptor Hew Lorimer.

1938 In open competition for works at the Empire Exhibition he won 2 out of 5 major commissions.

1939-45 Served in Army

1940 ‘Battle Dress’ exhibited at the RSA. His war service included some connection with the Commandoes, but I don’t have any information on this.

1944 ‘Man-Handling’ and ‘Grenade Thrower’ exhibited at the RSA.

1945 Appointed Teacher of Sculpture at Belfast College of Art.

1947 Returned to Scotland (Newport on Tay) appointed Head of Sculpture at Duncan of Jordanstone’s College, Dundee; a post which he held until 1975.

1949 Wins competition for commission for Commando Memorial, Spean Bridge.

1950 Elected Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy.

1951 Exhibited sketch model for Commando Memorial at RSA

1952 Commando Memorial Spean Bridge unveiled.
Unveiled by H.M. Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother in 1952. His RSA obituary states:
‘Sculptor Scott Sutherland D.A. (Edin.) RSA won a national competition for this work in 1949 and rarely have a sculptor and subject been so perfectly matched. He had known and worked alongside the Commandos during the war and had a great admiration for them. In addition the scale was right – heroic in proportions – matching its subject. No sooner had the work been unveiled than the greatest possible tributes came pouring in from every corner of the globe. The Commando Memorial, despite its remoteness of setting remains one of the most visited, and best loved sculptures in Scotland.’

The Scotsman newspaper printed the following on 16th March 1950 regarding the Commando memorial design:
“His design for the Commando Memorial is to be erected near Achnacarry at the west end of the Caledonian Canal to commemorate the Commando troops who were trained there. Mr. Sutherland’s design was awarded first prize of £200 in competition open to all Scottish sculptors…The design shows a definite departure from the abstract forms in which he earlier worked.”
It was interesting that Sutherland did indeed adopt the more traditional approach in the form of a figurative sculpture, winning the competition, while another of Alex Carrick’s pupils Tom Whalen lost with his submission of a colossal and primitive flint spearhead to commemorate the Commandoes as being at the cutting edge of the Allied Forces. The monument bears the motto ‘United We Conquer’ on the pedestal and Sutherland created a potent image of this concept in the fusion of the three figures (seen best from the rear) into a V-shaped cutting edge formation. I also think that Alexander Carrick’s war memorials at Oban, with its image of unity, and Lochawe with its cutting figure, may have been one influence in Sutherland’s design at Spean Bridge.

1954 ‘Mother and Child’ exhibit at RSA.

1961 Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of British Sculptors.

1966 Black Watch Memorial, Powrie Brae, Dundee.
Black Watch Memorial unveiled by Queen Mother as Honorary Colonel in Chief. Memorial to all ranks of the 4/5th (Dundee’s Own) Battalion Black Watch who fell in WWII.

1970 Elected Full Academician to the RSA., offered ‘Alayne’ as diploma work.

1972 Hugh Dowding Memorial, Moffat. Unveiled 9th September 1972. One guide brochure states:
“The bronze plaque, executed by Scott Sutherland…is mounted in a setting of local sandstone designed by D. Bruce Walker. Flanking it, on side walls or ‘wings’, are two badges of Fighter Command. Above, across the top of the wall that bears the plaque, are the famous words of Winston Churchill:
‘Never in the field of human conflict
Was so much owed by so many to so few.’
Below are the words:
‘born in Moffat’,
Whose motto Hugh Dowding could be said to have carried with him throughout his life, and for which this country, and indeed the whole free world, was to be profoundly thankful:

1975 Retired and fell into ill-health

1984 Died 10th October at King’s Cross Hospital, Dundee. His wife Kennethena died not long afterwards. They left a son and two daughters.
One RSA obituary by Alastair R. Ross stated:
“ Scotty was small in stature but exerted a huge presence in his most familiar and loved of surroundings – in charge of a sculpture studio where he was very much ‘Maitre d’Atelier’. He demanded very high standards from his students and eschewed anything which was second-rate, either conceptually or in technical execution, being himself a superb modeller, carver and caster. He believed very firmly in teaching by example. Scotty was held in the highest esteem by both student and teaching colleagues…In his youth he had been an amateur boxing champion and maintained his interest in this sport throughout his life. Another facet of Scotty’s talents, which he kept well hidden, was that of being an accomplished violinist although with characteristic modesty he often preferred to describe himself as a ‘Caithness Fiddler.’

Another tribute by an unknown author in the RSA files stated:
His early stone carvings show strongly the influence of the rock-cliff bastioned coasts of his native Caithness…As he matured and mellowed his work has explored the problems of expressing in sculpture the equilibrium of the human figure in controlled and combative movement.”

Other Works;
Bronze memorial (bronze) in form of ship’s figurehead at Inverbervie commemorating designer of the Cutty Sark Hercules Linton.
Coat of Arms (sandstone)for entrance to National Library, Edinburgh.
Bronze Capercailzie for school, Kenmore.
Robert Burns statue, Arbroath.
Carved slate memorial panel to crew of Broughty Ferry Lifeboat ‘Mona’.
Silver trophy for the Royal Observer Corps.
Leaping Salmon Fountain for Norrie Miller Memorial Garden in Perth
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Joined: 12 Jul 2007
Posts: 4856
Location: The County of Angus

PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow. I never knew the guy who made the statue at Spean bridge made the Burns statue in front of my home towns library!

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