Wednesday, 9 May 2012

The Fergusson gallery and a wander round Perth

We had tickets to go and see Kieran Goss last Wednesday in Perth, so we set out around lunchtime and spent a bit of an afternoon in the city (not that it's been a city for that long - Perth only officially became a city on the14th of March this year but it has been unofficially regarded as a city for just about as long as it has existed and has used the word city on it's sign posts for years.)

We found some easy parking just opposite the Fergusson galley. On the outskirt of the city centre, it was once a waterworks - the structure on the top of the building was a tank to hold water. We think that the pillar at the back looked like an old chimney but it does seem a good enough place to put a plant pot. The building now houses the works of the local artist, John Duncan Fergusson, who lived from 1874 to 1961 and was part of the Scottish colourist movement, and his wife Margaret Morris.

Although best known as a painter, JD Fergusson also did a little sculpture. This piece from 1918, positioned outside the gallery, is Torse de Femme.

The gallery own a great many works of the Fergussons and rotate them regularly. These two photographs of the couple were on display.

This is JD Fergusson's Eastre and Fruit.

A painting called At My Studio Window - I hope he had plenty of foliage outside it.

This sculpture is Eastre, Hymn to the Sun. A similar subject to the painting earlier. We were sure that we had seen this before and asked at the desk on the way out. There are indeed several versions of it and we had seen one in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh.

Fergusson's wife, Margaret Morris, was mainly known as a dancer and these pictures were taken by Fred Daniels at her summer school at Pourville Cap d'Antibes in France in the early 1920s.

This particular picture appeared in the Daily Express on 26th February 1925.

Though not one of the costumes in the picture, this one is probably from the same dance. Correct me if I'm wrong, but are the legs not tied together??

Margaret Morris also did some paintings and drawings herself. These 4 little sketches by her were probably my favourite works in the gallery.

By the time we'd been round the gallery it was definitely tea time. Hetties tearoom looked like it would fit the bill quite nicely. I can say that their Earl Grey was excellent and they provided a little egg timer to ensure that you brewed it for just the right length of time.

We spotted this curious sculpture on the High Street.

And just round the corner from the High Street these bronze sculptures were attached to the lamp posts.

We had a wander down to have a wee look at the River Tay  before hunting down a bite of food.

Just before the concert we found this 1992 mosaic by William Hamilton called Horse Cross.


Shundo said...

More top stuff Sandy, thanks. That couple (and their art) look like they had a lot of life in them. The tea room looks most civilised as well. I think you missed a trick there, though: in the second picture you can see part of a Latin inscription, presumably above the entrance of the gallery. Do you have the full thing, and a translation, or do I need to go and track it down myself?

Dominic Rivron said...

You've definitely left me feeling motivated to visit Perth next time I'm in Scotland. Decent art gallery + decent teashop = civilisation.

Sandy's witterings said...

Dominic - Decent gallery and, essentially, a good tearoom are a good starting point. We also found an excellent church (up in the next blog) and another gallery and museum that we didn't have time to go and see.

Well spotted Shundo, the whole thing reads "Aquam igne et aqau haurio" which means "By fire and water I draw water". It was chalked on the wall of the building in around 1946 by one Dr Adam Anderson, Rector of the Perth Academy and Grammer school, who was involved with the towns water supply and construction of the building around this time.

Shundo said...

Interesting phrase indeed, thanks for letting us know

Peter Pascal said...

What an interesting blog, introduced by a thought-provoking photo. The unusual wall painting of the dwellings is
also a strangely modern interpretation. Something like this hieroglyphic view of a park by Swiss painter Paul Klee,

The image can be seen at who can supply you with a canvas print of it.