Last week’s sequence ended with Andrew Cranston, this week begins with Andy’s friend, and one-time teacher at the Royal College of Art, Peter Doig. In the summer of 2013, the National Galleries of Scotland staged a magnificent exhibition of Peter’s work and at the same time he was the 21st artist to make a work for the public billboard project on our (then) gallery building with a giant poster of drunk and disorderly figures, dancing and pissing on the side of the wall. It reminded many a passer-by, an audience that experienced our programme solely through the Billboard for Edinburgh, never actually crossing the gallery threshold, of the building’s previous life as the nocturnal landmark ‘The Venue’. Site of many a dodgy club night and deservedly forgotten gig, but also host to some of the great acts of the 80’s and 90s including Sonic Youth, the Stone Roses, Nico and Radiohead.
Peter was born in Edinburgh, and so of course we claim him as one of the great Scottish painters, despite the fact that his family left when he was one to live in Trinidad for six years, before moving Canada where he spent most of his childhood. In truth Scotland has had far less of a role in his life than the Caribbean, especially Trinidad where for the last 20 years he has had a home and studio, but nonetheless his exhibition that summer, appropriately titled No Foreign Lands, felt like the long awaited homecoming.