John McKenzie

 
Publication date:
September 2012
Publisher :
Liss Llewellyn Fine Art
Editor :
Paul Liss, Sacha Llewellyn
Language:
English
Format Available     Quantity Price
Paperback
ISBN : 9780956713957
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£10.00
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Overview
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It is rare for a creative artist to work in the privacy of his garden shed, in a challenging medium, and almost entirely for his own pleasure, but such a one was the slate-carver, John McKenzie. His day job was working as a steward in the Petty Officers' Mess aboard H.M.S. Condor, the Fleet Air Arm Training School at Arbroath, Angus, on the east coast of Scotland.
McKenzie's work is totally unpretentious, but it reveals a cultivated familiarity with the carvings of ancient Babylon and Mesopotamia, as well as classical mythology, suggesting that as a boy he had haunted Kelvingrove Art Gallery - and may have continued to do so - as well the public libraries of Glasgow and Arbroath.
A list of the hundred and twelve carvings that were still in his possession at the time of his death exists, but forty years on we will never know what books he had on his shelves, what postcards, photographs and cuttings from the local paper, what references he used. John McKenzie may have worked in solitude but it is clear that he did not work in isolation.