Signed and dated ‘63,
Oil on canvas
71 x 91.5 cm
Shand Hutchison was one of the leading artists and art educators of the post-war period in Scotland.
Hutchison was born on the Buccleuch estate on the River Esk near Dalkeith in 1920. His family moved to North Berwick when he was six. He attended North Berwick High School and then enrolled at Edinburgh College of Art in 1939. The following year he joined the RAF and was assigned to the RAF Signals. One of his more unusual tasks involved painting shark’s teeth onto the fronts of American Tomahawk aircraft.
In 1946, Hutchison returned to Edinburgh College of Art to complete his course. His tutors included William Gillies, William MacTaggart and Donald Moodie. He graduated in 1949 and attended Moray House teacher training college, coming top in his year, and started teaching in Edinburgh.
In the early 1950s he had a studio in Cockburn Street in Edinburgh, and there produced some of his best work, including Fish Fence, 1953, which was bought by the Arts Council of Great Britain that same year and was subsequently gifted to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.
He exhibited with the Society of Scottish Artists from 1951 and at the Royal Scottish Academy from 1953. His work was included in a number of exhibitions organised by the Arts Council from 1953 onwards, including Four Scottish Painters, an Edinburgh Festival show in 1963, in which this painting was exhibited. Many of his paintings looked to the landscape of East Lothian where he grew up, creating at times surreal explorations of the animate within the inanimate. From 1954 to 1959 he taught at the Royal High School in Edinburgh, then became head of a large art department at the newly-opened Gracemount Secondary School to the south of Edinburgh. Throughout his teaching career, he exhibited regularly at the annual shows of the Royal Scottish Academy (the Duke of Edinburgh bought a painting he exhibited in 1962) and the Scottish Society of Artists.