Kerry Duncan, our Historic Researcher, has interviewed five past pupils from Inverness Royal Academy. Here are some memories from the most prominent visual artist within the school’s alumni:

Will Maclean, MBE, Artist & Lecturer
Will attended the Junior School and then Inverness Royal Academy between the years of 1945-56 before leaving to join the Merchant Navy. Upon failing an eye test, he changed course and returned to what he was good at in school, Art & Gymnastics. He applied to be either a gym or an art teacher and his application to Art School was successful. In 1981 he was appointed lecturer at the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, University of Dundee, where he remained for fifteen fruitful years, becoming Professor of Fine Art in 1994. He is now internationally renowned for his artwork and installations. Will was elected Royal Scottish Academician in 1991 and awarded an MBE in 2005 for services to Education and the Arts.

A memory of Rector D J MacDonald:
“He was really interesting and dignified…you know we all really respected him. He always took a great interest in his pupils…at least in my time, we had nothing but respect for him…I remember being called into the main hall one time, Rector D J Macdonald announced, ‘The King is dead, long live the Queen!’ It was all very dramatic!”

Memories of Junior School:
“I think it was a good start, particularly the Junior School…they gave us a very rounded education, it was very structured in terms of arts, grammar…when I got to Miss Grant’s class in Primary 7; I still remember reciting bits of poems that she read to us on Friday afternoons, they were all very jingoistic, Empire based, Rudyard Kipling and all that…but it was great, it was part of life at that time, in the post-war years.”

Will has kindly shared some drawings from his time at IRA, the post-war theme as well as his love of boats are very evident. We’ll be sharing more of Will’s drawings and interview during our Doors Open Day tour next weekend.

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