Friday, 2 April 2010

State Appointed Sculptors in Scotland

'Totalitarianism is the concept which subsumes three such seemingly different movements as the Leninist-Stalinist stage of Bolshevism, Mussolini’s Fascism, and Hitler’s National Socialism. The deepest and most stricking expression of the inner affinity of these movements, all of which were directed against human freedom, is that they produced identical aesthetic conceptions and the same brand of official art.’
Warner Haftmann, Painting in the Twentieth Century.

This Totalitarian aesthetic can be seen in the choice of realist, neoclassical sculptures to reflect and sustain their world view. It would have been too much to hope that the Head of State of the United Kingdom would not favour this brand of official art.
Alexander Stoddart is Sculptor in Ordinary to The Queen in Scotland. Alexander works in a realist, neoclassical manner and he rather likes the strength of Fascist sculpture too.

Philip Jackson, also Scottish, is Royal Sculptor to Queen Elizabeth II. Philip’s work often bares a marked similarity to Alexander’s sculptures...
Clearly a profitable path which is also followed by Kenny Mackay who very soon after the death of the Scottish Labour Party politician Donald Dewar, was commissioned to create a 9 foot bronze of the lost leader. The statue was unveiled on 7 May 2002, by the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair. However, after attacks on Dewar’s specs, the plinth was raised by 6 foot, so the ‘man of the people’ now towers even higher, gazing off above us into the blue yonder, spectacles intact.


  1. Donald Dewar looks decidedly odd, marooned even. Perhaps he should have just had his glasses permanently removed, rather than raised up so high.

  2. Indeed. Though perhaps the cry would have been -"Donald where's yer glasses"!

  3. Yes, the reaction from my Scottish partner was: 'Donald Dewar without his big glasses?'