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Bill SCOTT 1935 - 2012

Biography

Bill Scott was a prominent and respected member of the artistic community in Scotland. A gifted and distinguished sculptor, he also held influential positions in educational and professional bodies. At the time of his sudden death, he was serving president of the Royal Scottish Academy (RSA), chairman of the Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop and was completing a major new sculpture

Bill Scott often worked on a small scale making use of the visual impact of the plinth, which while raising small works also isolates them. Previous commissions include work for the Byre Theatre in St Andrews, Kentiger House in Glasgow and more recently he worked with Joan Brazenall on a sculpture of Elizabeth Crichton for the Crichton Memorial Church, Dumfries

Scott was born in the Dumfriessshire village of Moniaive in 1935, his given name being George William Scott. He was educated at the Dumfries Academy, before attending the Edinburgh College of Art, to which he applied on his own volition & initiative, studying between 1953-59 prominently under Ann Henderson, an important influence

Bill undertook postgraduate studies at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, an opportunity which gave him an insight beyond his Scottish roots

he returned to Edinburgh after his studies in France to become a tutor in the sculpture department f the ESA, and eventually headed it up until he retired

his influence as head of sculpture at the ECA was far-reaching. He encouraged students to trust their own ideas and directions, giving them the confidence to be ambitious. He introduced a variety of visiting lecturers from abroad, widening the school’s horizons. He substantially increased the number of postgraduate students, including a sizeable proportion of foreign applicants. He was friendly and sociable, and, being interested in people and ideas, enjoyed lively debate with his students, and other friends and acquaintances, over a cup of coffee or a glass of beer.
 
In 1999, following retirement from the college, he became the chairman of the ESW, an organisation providing studios, technical support and a forum for sculptors, including many young artists.
 
he believed that the ESW should build its own new building rather than reusing an old one: thus providing better facilities: and sending a confident message about the role of sculpture in our society
 
he married Phyllis Fisher in 1961, also from Dumfriesshire, and they had three children. His family was a solid foundation for his busy professional life

Bill Scott died in Edinburgh on the 22 March 2012