‘Homecoming’ for much-loved tutor

A new exhibition opening at the University of Dundee this week pays tribute to the life and work of a renowned artist who helped hundreds of young people fulfil their ambition of studying art.

Alan Watson, who died earlier this year at the age of 61, led the portfolio preparation class at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design for 20 years. He was himself a graduate of the institution and was a hugely popular figure with staff and students alike.

Born in St Andrews and descended from a long line of fishing families from the East Neuk of Fife, Alan’s work was much influenced by his connection with sea-faring ancestors.

The exhibition features a selection of his work including an energetic St Kilda painting and powerful drawings, collage and paintings depicting the east coast fishing and Dundee whaling industries. It also features a lithograph printed posthumously by his daughter Moira Watson, a recent Fine Art graduate of Duncan of Jordanstone.

“Alan was always keen to ensure that his students had the best possible opportunity to make the most of their abilities,” said Janice Aitken, Associate Dean for Public and Community Engagement at Duncan of Jordanstone. “His dedication and positive attitude towards his students really helped to develop their confidence and skills. There are many artists and designers working now whose careers started with attendance at one of Alan's classes.

“Alan is sadly missed and I'm sure that the many students and staff whose lives were touched by him will enjoy the opportunity to see his work brought together in the place to which he made such an important contribution.”

Alan exhibited nationally and internationally in solo and group exhibitions and was an invited artist showing in ‘Scottish Art in Moscow’ in 1989 and 1991, the first official British art exhibition and artist exchange in Russia since the revolution. His work is included in many public and private collections including Scottish National Galleries, The McManus: Dundee's Art Gallery & Museum, and the Scottish Fisheries Museum.

‘Homecoming: an exhibition celebrating the life and work of artist Alan Watson 1957-2019’ runs from 20 September – 15 October. The exhibition will be open at the Reception Foyer Gallery at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design from 8am-8pm on weekdays and 10am-4pm each Saturday.