Sax kept a visitor’s book at his home and studio in Edinburgh. He always encouraged visitors to write or draw in it whenever they visited. Please do that here, feel free to write any memories you have of Sax and of his work. Please also leave any links you find and we will add these into the Sax on the Web page. Everything will be moderated so please do not feel offended if your entries take a few days to appear here.
Great Stuff, Kevin…..what a guy !
In the usual run of strange confluences I maybe almost met Sax. The year of his retiral from ECA (1979), winding down a lifetime of creating art, overlapped my first year of a lifetime of discovering it: I passed the door or ECA daily in my route to History of Art lectures at Edinburgh Uni. Perhaps we passed on Lady Lawson Street.
Can’t wait to see this exhibition. So much of what we take for granted in decorative and applied arts in Scotland now can find a thread back to Sax, particularly for me (and no pun intended) with his work at Dovecote, a place that intrigued me in the late 70’s and was a byword for exciting things. I can see it in current work among those I know in the Highlands and Islands and Argyll, which both harbour many arts and crafts professionals. Knowledge of his influence in creating free and painterly tapestries is perhaps buried, as is the way of things, but I would hope that the exhibition will revive that memory and make some links for people working now.
The renaissance quality to his oeuvre is also very appealing, and I think not all that common. To be such a maker of things as well as an artist, and all to a high technical standard, is rare. His stained glass, of course, is fabulous, and has a big legacy and a very visible, accessible one.
This exhibition is Sax’s, and there the boundary must be, but there is a dynasty of artists and makers surrounding him is another tale altogether. Two sons who both work with light and colour, as Sax did, grandchildren embarking on careers making art in similar and still wider ways, and Sax’s widow Maisie who was created bronze heads, and was a skilled draughtswoman and painter. A family of makers and artists working and embedded in Scotland.
There is much worth seeing from all the Shaws. Whitespace, September 2012 is a good place to start.
Congratulations on the website! I remember Sax very well, as I’m based near where he and Maisie lived in the New Town. (I used to be intrigued by glimpses of the works I could see through the windows.)
Yes, the legacy lives on in the (wonderful) work of his sons, Kevan and Christian. Looking forward very much to seeing the exhibition.
As an apprentice tapestry weaver, I am about to use a loom that once belonged to Sax Shaw. It came to me via Lynne Curran, who taught me to think like a tapestry weaver: to investigate techniques, practice drawing and design, and pay close attention to how historical and contemporary tapestry work had been developed. She also suggested that I should give this loom a home. When I first saw it, in an abandoned hospital wing near Edinburgh, sturdy, well used and still decked with yarn, I knew I had to take up the gauntlet, and do it justice by learning to use it well. I have renewed the aprons, improvised handles to turn the ratchets from a box of Edwardian table winders found at a local auction and it is ready to go. Researching Sax’s work has been an education: it brought me into contact with a body of work and a philosophy of working that informs my own developing sensibility of what it is to be a weaver. I am beginning to realise the pivotal role played by Sax Shaw in the development of contemporary tapestry and look forward to the memorial exhibition.
Studying with Sax Shaw in Edinburgh College of Art, Leifur Breidfjord realize the scope and complexity of the art of architectural stained glass.
Sax Shaw, particularly stressed to his students the architectural context of stained glass, that is, the harmonius interaction of stained glass windows and buildings. Students were urged to do their homework before they took on a commission, reserch the architecture and social history of the buildings that they were working for, study them from top to bottom, as well as their immediate surrounding. They were to be clear as to all the proportions involved, archtectural detail, light sourches, in short, everything that could affect the proposed stained glass window or windows, inside and out. Then, and only then, were they to embark on their preparatory drawings. Breidfjord has followed this procedure in his artworks ever since.
Sax Shaw was to Leifur Breidfjord a very good teacher, a valued friend and later on highly regarded adviser in the field of architectural stained glass art.
Leifur Breidfjord / 13. August 2012
congratulations, the exhibition obviously went well!
Recently came into possession of a painting Sax Shaw gave to my parents in the 60’s. My father was a colleague of Sax at the Art College (Alexander McRobie). It is a street scene of Paris done in 1949 ‘Rue des Patriarchs’. Have photographs if anyone is interested!
I would be delighted to see this picture and would be happy to post it on the site if you would like. email it to me at kevan.shaw @ gmail .com
I have a watercolour painting by Sax which was given to my paternal grandmother Elizabeth LLoyd who was also a painter and living in Edinburgh. She died young but had a colourful life, as a teacher working in Africa and the first woman to ride a motorcycle,she obviously found a rebel kindred spirit .
I tried to leave a comment the other day, not sure whether it got through to you?
Sorry I did not receive your previous message. Please email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Regards Kevan Shaw