Latest articles from Susan Mansfield

Mike Scott of The Waterboys with local singers and musicians who took part in a community performance of Room to Roam as it became Huntly’s ‘anthem’

ESSAY How a north-east town became an international leader in socially engaged art

AS the sun sets on a winter afternoon, Huntly is a place of deserted streets and closed-down shopfronts. A once prosperous market town in the agricultural heartland between Aberdeen and Elgin, Huntly (population 4400, average household income £23,000) now tells the sad story of many small towns: economic decline, the slow withdrawal of services.

The Steading was a house in which Tim Stead pioneered the use of locally sourced hardwoods rather than imported timber

ESSAY The battle to preserve a masterpiece home and its creator's legacy

IT was in November 2020 that Nichola Fletcher decided it was all over. After five years of trying to raise money to save for the nation the remarkable home of craftsman and sculptor Tim Stead, the last funding application had been rejected. She and her colleagues on the Tim Stead Trust had reached the end of the line.

A 1973 portrait of W Gordon Smith, created by friend and artist Sandy Moffat

A lasting legacy: The impact of W Gordon Smith and his wife Jay

IN his obituary of W Gordon Smith in The Scotsman in 1996, writer and historian Trevor Royle spoke of “the great Scottish tradition of polymaths who not only delighted in their country’s cultural life but also made a substantial contribution to it”.

Hospitalfield: the institution that's shaped many a finest artist

Hospitalfield: the institution that's shaped many a fine artist

AS the drive curves through mature woodland, the house comes into view: a turreted Scots baronial fantasy in red sandstone. In taking the road to Hospitalfield, I am following in the footsteps of many of Scotland’s finest artists of the past 100 years.

Helen Bellany on her ‘two lives’ with painter John Bellany

Helen Bellany on her ‘two lives’ with painter John Bellany

WHEN Helen Bellany first saw her future husband, he was sitting at a piano, draped in a fishing net, thundering out “crazy jazz”. It was Fresher’s Week in 1961 at Edinburgh College of Art. Helen was 18 and newly arrived from Golspie. John Bellany was in the year above, a talented painter with a reputation for being “wild, outrageous and slightly crazy”.

Langholm, 2014, Hugh MacDiarmid by Ruth Nicol

A Montrose exhibition showcases the regeneration of Scottish art

IN 1981, in an exhibition called Seven Poets at Glasgow’s Third Eye Centre, Alexander Moffat’s seminal painting, Poets’ Pub, was exhibited for the first time. The painting, which was later bought for the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, shows the key players of the Scottish literary renaissance clustered in a Rose Street hostelry.