Alex Malcolmson – Biography

Alex Malcolmson was born in Shetland in 1955 and studied drawing, painting and printmaking at Edinburgh College of Art. He worked in the Northern Isles for several years teaching, painting and exhibiting and then moved back to Edinburgh to work as a curator. For 25 years he ran Godfrey & Watt in Harrogate, a gallery which exhibited fine work by makers and artists from throughout the UK. He now concentrates full time on his box constructions and sculpture.

“My work has always been closely connected with the sea. It would be hard to spend your formative years in a place like Shetland and not be influenced in some way by things maritime. Sailing trips on a 100 year-old wooden ship in Scandinavia and more recently to the Isles of Scilly have been a great source of ideas. Much of the work created over the past ten years has been in the form of box constructions made mainly from wood, carved and painted, sometimes using found materials. Ship dioramas and marine folk art provide much inspiration. The bird sculptures combine the idea of a bird and a boat, partly inspired by the Shetland tradition of upturning worn out boats for use as a roof
and giving the vessel a new lease of life. The body is a slatted construction and the form draws on some of the conventions of decoy carving.”

Exhibitions in recent years have included, Bircham Gallery and St Jude’s, Norfolk; Godfrey & Watt, Harrogate; The Aldeburgh Festival; The Open Eye and The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh; Twenty Twenty, Much Wenlock; Yorkshire Sculpture
Park, Leeds Craft and Design Centre; Vaila Fine Art and The Bonhoga Gallery in Shetland.

Country Living, BBC Homes and Antiques and Coast Magazine have published features on Alex’s work.
We are very proud to be now exhibiting Alex Malcolmson’s wonderful mixed media box constructions and beautiful carved, painted birds and sculptures for the first time at Ainscough in our May Scottish Exhibition 2013.

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