ACADEMICIAN

Alexander Carrick had become a regular exhibitor at the Royal Scottish Academy's annual exhibitions before the Great War.  In 1918 he was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy while still serving with the Royal Artillery in Belgium, and in 1929 he was elected full academician.  Carrick's forceful personality and good humour made him a popular and influential figure at the RSA.  It was largely through his influence that sculpture retained its status and was not overshadowed by painting, a fate which sculpture has so often suffered in the past, present and future.  His works were also exhibited as far afield as Venice, Prague, Belgrade, Vienna and Argentina, helping to enhance the prestige of Scottish sculpture abroad.

In 1930 his temporary diploma work, 'The Kiss' a small bronze of two lovers kissing, was exhibited at the annual exhibition.  It was not until 1936 that he submitted his diploma work, 'Felicity', which is a virtuoso performance by Carrick of line and composition.  His technical skills are wonderfully demonstrated in a sculpture which has to be seen 'in-the-round' to be fully appreciated.  However, speaking of her father's work, Anne Scott told me that "I think he was gradually coming to see form more simply.  Felicity was an achievement, but in a way I think The Kiss with its elimination of sharp shadows was nearer to what he was aiming at.".

 

Above Left - Felicity was Carrick's diploma work when he was elected full Academician to the Royal Scottish Academy.  The work was exhibited as far afield as Argentina.

Carrick's influence extended beyond his role as a teacher.  His forthright personality and good humour made him a popular and influential figure in the R.S.A. and he ensured that sculpture maintained a high profile and was not overshadowed by painting, a fate which it so often suffers.  

He used the money that he earned for the Wallace statue in Edinburgh Castle to pay for a trip to the Paris Exhibition in 1937 where he persuaded the leading French sculptors of the day to come to Edinburgh for a special exhibition of French sculpture which he organised.

 

Far Right - Bronzed plaster of The Kiss, Carrick's temporary diploma work.  Photographs supplied and reproduced by kind permission of John Scott.

PaintedplastercastofTheKiss PlastercastofFelicity