Colaton Raleigh artist gives inaugural lecture at Bath

Professor Alan gives lively first lecture at University of Bath

ARTIST Alan Cotton gave his inaugural lecture as the first Professor of Arts at the University of Bath last week.

The well-renowned Colaton Raleigh artist, who has just returned from a painting expedition to Everest, was invited to become the university’s first Professor of Arts in May by its vice chancellor, Glynis Breakwell, and took up the post on September 1.

She and John Struthers, director of the Institute of Contemporary and Interdisciplinary Arts, first approached Alan in early 2010 to ask him to advise on a new multi-million pound University Centre for the Arts, planned for next year.

This will include an arts theatre, performance, dance and music studios, but for Alan it is the new visual arts studios and art gallery with which he has been involved over the past 18 months.

Last Wednesday, just two days from his return from Everest base camp, Alan gave his inaugural lecture A Sense of Place.

His lively, anecdotal talk, with images of his paintings from Hartland to Provence, Venice to Ireland and Morocco, ended with a drawing from his recent Everest trip.

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The earliest paintings shown were from the Wye Valley, where Alan lived during the 1960’s and where he started his knife paintings for which his now so well known.

His first knife painting, sold in the early 70’s and recently acquired by the artist, was one of two original works on show in the university’s reception area.

Alan was delighted all four of his children, Juliette, Robin Richard and Rachel, wife Pat and his art dealer David Messum, could attend both lecture and a dinner, hosted by the vice chancellor at her residence in one of Bath’s magnificent Georgian crescents.