Ackroyd, Norman (21 of 24).  National Life Stories: Artists' Lives

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  • Recording date

    2009-05-25, 2009-06-15, 2009-08-10, 2009-09-14, 2009-12-14, 2010-01-11, 2010-02-08, 2011-05-09, 2011-05-16, 2011-05-06

  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's studio, London

  • Interviewees

    Ackroyd, Norman, 1938- (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Courtney, Cathy, 1954- (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 21: Session tenJune 6 2011] [1:42:37] Weather and kinds of light that NA particularly likes when drawing in landscape; relationship actual landscape and NA’s images. [3:02] Sales of NA’s work in RA Summer Exhibition Keeping edition sizes under one hundred. Six images in 2011 RA Summer Exhibition. NA notices squirrel outside, discussion of wildlife in his part of London; local beekeepers. NA spent Christmas in Yorkshire, etching in snow; further details etchings in RA Summer Exhibition 2011. [10:29] RA President has announced he will stand down at end of year; RA under Presidencies of Hugh Casson, Roger de Grey; NA never wanted to be RA President; candidates. 2011 RA dinner; Jeanette Winterson; President’s announcement. [Interruption] [21:48] RA Presidents. 2011 RA Summer Exhibition; mentions Michael Craig-Martin; generation of RAs in their fifties. [29:00] Aging; NA’s trouble with right eye. [Interruption] [31:10] Richard McCormack, Ian Ritchie, architects. Idea NA submitted for chapel window, Cambridge. Process of etching or engraving on glass. East window of York Minster; Fairford Church window. Laurence Whistler. Churchill College, Cambridge; John Piper, Patrick Reyntiens. [39:27] Henry Porter, former columnist on Sunday Times, NA a member of the Private Eye cricket team, Richard Ingrams; Coach & Horses pub, Soho; Private Eye magazine; explains name Lord Gnome; Private Eye cricket team; Willie Rushton; Kit Wright, poet; James Goldsmith; degree to which Private Eye team collected NA’s work. The Barringtons, villages near Oxford; NA’s images, river Windrush, Taynton stone quarries. Places NA visited because of playing cricket. NA’s sense of direction. [57:00] Fellow students when NA a RCA student; mentions DH, Frank Bowling, Allen Jones, Patrick Caulfield, Pauline Boty, Peter Philips, Richard Smith. NA’s response to American Expressionists. RCA bar; Junior Common Room; Gulbenkian as benefactor; opening of RCA building beside Albert Hall. RCA magazine, Ark; edition of Queen magazine produced by RCA; Jocelyn Stevens. Reputation of John Minton. Mention of Janey Ironside. [1:07:02] Derek Boshier’s paintings; Importance of Young Contemporaries exhibitions in 1960s. RCA painting dept. when NA a student; mentions Frank Bowling; Peter Blake at RCA, mural painting studio in V&A; RCA portfolio of prints for Shakespeare anniversary from NA’s student years on exhibition at Stratford-on-Avon 2011, NA’s print for this; NA will be going to Stratford next weekend, mentions Susie Sainsbury. Poster on NA’s wall advertising 1962 RCA painting show, lithography by DH. Mentions friendship with Patrick Stewart. NA’s social life whilst RCA student. [1:18:00] RCA 1964, NA was offered eight teaching jobs from degree show, chose Manchester, two days per week, head of painting, Norman Adams. After a year, NA got teaching days on Fridays, joint class teaching etching with ME, started teaching with Shane Weare, NA taught at Central for nearly 30 years; mentions taught with Maurice Kestleman, Mervyn Peake, Cecil Collins, Bill Turnbull [William Turnbull], Barry Flanaghan, Gertrude Hermes, Adrian Berg. [1:22:12] Norman Adams later invited NA to each at RAS after death of Norman Stephenson [Norman Stevens]. Degree to which NA had thought about earning his living whilst at RCA. NA’s conversation with Fred Brill, Chelsea School of Art; comparison Central, where Brian Wall became head of sculpture; artists from other disciplines came to Central etching room to make etchings with NA. RCA sculpture department under Bernard Meadows when NA student; mentions Roland Piche, John Panting, Brian Kneale. NA mentions liking sculpture of Phyllida Barlow, recently elected RA; sculptures he owns; owns life mask of Voltaire, admiration of Voltaire. [1:28:09] Sales at NA’s graduation show, American gallery owner from Washington DC bought exhibition to show in Washington, over next twenty five years NA showed with him, eventually began to go to Washington; 1971 met Margo Dolan, with whom NA has been working for forty years, Dolan/Maxwell, Philadelphia; American universities would ask NA to do demonstrations, became Professor of Etching at Bloomington for semester; most income from c 1971-1985 was in dollars. Margo Dolan, Philadelphia Print Club; NA’s 1976 image for Cleveland Print Club; Art Feldman, gallery. Little interest from British dealers at NA’s RCA degree show; reputation of RA at this time, degree to which it showed etchings and prints; 1989 NA and Allen Jones changed room in which prints and etchings were hung in Summer Exhibition; sales of etchings and prints now at RA Summer Exhibition; German film made of NA and his etching in 1988 Summer Exhibition. Feelings about becoming an RA. Hugh Casson, Roger de Grey. Effect on NA of years at RCA; mentions he was married and had small child; bought a house 1966 on two days a week teaching earnings. Was able to use Central studio in vacations as well as studio at home. RCA, three years of tranquility without pressure; no fees, subsistence grant. NA married 1963/4 whilst still at RCA, painting student, Sylvia Buckland, two children Felicity, Justine.

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