About this artwork

Edinburgh-born Naomi Mitchison was a poet and writer of plays, fiction and essays. A member of the aristocratic Haldane family, she married Labour politician G. Richard Mitchison, with whom she entertained a circle of intellectuals and literary friends at their home in Kintyre. Mitchison’s first novels, including ‘The Corn King and the Spring Queen’ (1931), show her interest in classical history and mythology. During the 1940s and 1950s, Scottish themes became more dominant in her writing. In later years, Mitchison travelled widely and was adopted as ‘mother’ of the Bakgatla people of Botswana. Mitchison died at Carradale aged 101. The sculptor of this posthumous bust, Archie Forrest, chose to represent Mitchison in old age and used photographs of her in her nineties to create this portrait.

Archibald ('Archie') Forrest

Archibald ('Archie') Forrest

Archie Forrest studied at Glasgow School of Art from 1969 to 1973. He taught there for seven years before giving up teaching in 1985 to be a full-time artist. His work has appeared regularly in the annual shows of both the Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts, to which he was elected in 1988, and the Royal Scottish Academy. A painter and a sculptor, Forrest is essentially viewed as a colourist working in the subdued earthy harmonies of the Glasgow school. Cézanne and Matisse are major inspirations to the artist.