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Alex Malcolmson. Ships, Birds and Lighthouses.

November 4, 2010

Alex Malcolmson was born in Shetland in 1955 and studied drawing, painting and printmaking

at Edinburgh College of Art. He worked in the Northern Isles for several years teaching,

painting and exhibiting and then moved back to Edinburgh to work as curator of the

Scottish Crafts Collection, now part of the collection of The National Museum of Scotland.


In 1985 he established Godfrey & Watt in Yorkshire, a gallery exhibiting and promoting some of the

finest work by artists and makers from throughout the UK. His work has frequently been exhibited

at Godfrey & Watt and in exhibitions elsewhere around the UK. Sailing trips, the Northern Isles

and marine folk art provide much inspiration for the work.


Most of the work he has done over the past ten years or so has been in the form of box constructions

made mainly from wood; carved and painted, sometimes using found materials. Perhaps in common

with other artists making ‘boxworks’, Joseph Cornell is an unavoidable influence, as is that lovely

period of Picasso’s work when he found everything he needed lying around on the studio floor,

but another strand of interest for Alex lies in ship dioramas and other marine folk art.

The slatted birds started with the idea of an upturned boat, which is a motif he has often used

in other ways, they also draw on the tradition of decoy making.

Folk, naïve and primitive art; the kind of objects made for use and ornament,

often by unnamed makers, is probably the main source of ideas for the work.

More of Alexs’ work can be seen on his website here.

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