Alasdair Gray

On the 29th of December 2019 Alasdair gray passed away.

He was one of my closest friends. I worked for and with him for 14 years on several commissions including Òran Mór, the Western Baths and the Hillhead Mural. He was the single most talented human I have ever come across. His ability to think originally about art and his ability to express those ideas was without parallel. I learned more from him about art than any other person has been able to teach me which is impressive as he is primarily famous for his writings.


He was a huge figure in Art. I wish he had felt able to tackle the huge commission for the Scottish Parliament that was proposed. We spent several months discussing it and drawing it but as it was after his fall and he was unable to stand and he felt he couldn’t tackle it from a wheelchair.


Before Christmas we were discussing the crucification painting that was to go into the western wall in the Auditorium at Òran Mór. We had figured out a way of making it that would mirror some of the processes that we had used when making the drawing for the Hillhead subway mural.


Sometimes he was not of this world. He was amazingly absent minded. However when you asked him about other artists the ones from hundreds of years ago were as real as those of the present day. 


I will always remember him laughing and reciting poetry from memory as we played chess.


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All images copyright of Nichol Wheatley unless otherwise stated.