For the artist ‘the liferoom’ has been a microcosm of the wider world. The subject is limitless, each pose providing a new challenge. The traditional study of the human form, its anatomy and vivid potential has been the vital key to unlock the wider subject. Human proportion and then the nuance of pose become the paradigm for looking at the world. While the liferoom has largely been banished from our art schools, an artist’s fascination with the figure continues to run parallel with concern for the human condition and will always be relevant. Life Studies brings together three very different artists exploring three mediums and all the narratives depicted are connected by the exploration, study and observation of the human form. David Eustace, showing for the second time with us, represents a continuing commitment to new photography. Rebecca Westguard is a first time exhibitor with the gallery and an exciting raw talent, while William Crosbie, whose estate is represented by The Scottish Gallery, remains a significant but enigmatic presence in Scottish painting.
In 2015 we presented a mid-career retrospective exhibition of the work of photographic artist, art curator and film director, David Eustace and in September 2018 The Gallery hosted his second solo exhibition.
Having worked for most major publications, Eustace was commissioned to create portfolios supported by several multinational corporations such as The WEIR Group, US Powergen, USA Network, Anthropologie and Deutsche Bank.
His work is recognised worldwide and has been exhibited as part the RSA Show ‘As Others See Us’ in Edinburgh (2007) and in New York at Hudson Studios in collaboration with the Scottish Government (2013). He was the first “photographic artist member” to exhibit at The Glasgow Art Club and more recently here at The Scottish Gallery with his “Selected Works” 2015 exhibition and the following year “Life Studies”.
His work is held in museums such as The National Portrait Gallery, London, RSA, GoMA and private collections of Aberdeen Asset Management and Deutsche Bank.
Sitters include Tracey Emin, Sir Peter Blake, Sophia Loren, James Earl Jones, Radiohead, Sir Paul McCartney, Lord Norman Foster, Eve Arnold, Milton Glaser and many others.
In 2011 he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Arts and in 2015 undertook the role as Chancellor of Edinburgh Napier University.
David Eustace was the subject of a solo exhibition at The Gallery in March 2020 called Dear John.
Born in Kent, Rebecca Westguard lived in West Sussex before moving to the North East of Scotland at the age of nine. She studied at Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen, where under the tuition of Joyce W. Cairns she was able to explore her admiration and fascination of the human form.
Trained as a painter, inspired by Florentine travels and her time spent at Hospitalfield House – Rebecca has concentrated her entire practice on the traditions of studying from life. Rebecca received the John Kinross Scholarship on graduation in 2002 and has exhibited at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters in London on two occasions. A prize winner at the National Open Art Competition and Aberdeen Artist Society, she has established and defined an inherent individual drawing style, with an innate sense of respect for the time-honoured tradition of life drawing. Whilst maintaining her studio practice, Rebecca has taught drawing at Gray’s School of Art since 2005 and she also established and developed the Hospitalfield Trusts Masterclass Programme. Rebecca will be exhibiting in the Gallery in April 2018.
William Crosbie studied at the Glasgow School of Art from 1932-5. A travelling scholarship took him to Paris, where he worked under Fernand Léger, and took classes in History of Art at The Sorbonne and in drawing with Maillol. Crosbie was part of a group of artists and writers who were very active immediately before the Second World War painting portraits. Later in his career it was by working with architects, decorating firms and painting murals that he was able to make a living, and continue to create the paintings that he wanted to paint.
Through his career he excelled in an extraordinary variety of subjects: straightforward landscapes of Scotland, England and France; still life, the female nude, a sort of modern fête champêtre; surrealism; religious painting; portraiture, both intimate and official and the self-portrait.
“As a painter I have always worked in the belief that once you have mastered a technique or perfected a style, that’s the time to stop. Each piece of work should be a fresh beginning as far as possible.” William Crosbie, 1974.