Alan Wilson

Alan Wilson was born in 1961 and graduated from the Glasgow school of Art in 1983 where he won a self-portrait prize in first year and the David Donaldson award for top student in 1982. In third year he was also selected to represent the art school along with ken Currie for a Life-Drawing course given by Peter de Francia. At another point he was chosen by Albert Irvin for a week’s special tuition. He trained under the late Danny Fergusson, Barbara Rae and Sandy Moffat learning from them all.

After art school he worked as a muralist for a year painting one for Mandor Textiles, Randak Design Foyer, Glen Orchy hotel and a large church mural. He then worked as an illustrator of local history books before entering teacher. Alan became a teacher in 1986 and is currently the head of Art at Hamilton College. He has had a couple of one-man shows and exhibited in group exhibitions which included old friends Peter Howson and Ally Thompson, amongst others.

In the following he tells us of his art practice-I’ve instinctively felt the truth of Kitaj’s statement about pictures and books changing the inside of one’s head ever since art school days. And like that crazy old fabulist I’ve trolled second-hand bookshops all my life. So the fiction of books as well as songs and poems inform most of my picture world and have offered me deeper notes of meditation upon our humanity. Inward adventures have been just as important for me as my geographic travels such as driving round Palestine with Peter Howson. Therefore, much of my art involves the invention of characters, not unlike my Welsh poet friend Bobi Jones who writes wonderful portrait-poems. I think it was Giacometti who said “the head was everything” and I certainly think faces glimpsed, studied or read about gets translated into my painting. To conjure up characters like a Marilynne Robinson story, that leave an imprint on the memory, would be something of my artistic raison d’etre and hopefully have an aroma of the command “love your neighbour” filter through them.