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Anderson, Marshall (artist, and curator of the Attic Archive, Dundee)



  • Existence: fl 1990-1999. - 1999


Marshall Anderson came into being on 01.01.1990 and expired on 31.12.1999 in Kirkcaldy where he had been based throughout his lifetime. He was an anachronism who styled himself on a highland estate worker, dressed in tweeds and shod with shepherd’s boots. Bearded and with his hair tied in a ponytail, his persona was distinctive. He was perhaps the last of the Scottish romantics. His objective was to live in the Scottish landscape and use those open spaces as his studio. His approach to landscape was traditionally analogue and non-photographic. As much as possible he walked everywhere keeping the old routes – drove roads, military roads and rights of way – open and accessible. Although itinerant and based in Kirkcaldy, he used the attic at 37 Union Street, Dundee, as a repository for his plein air drawings, bookworks, daily journals, and correspondence. Throughout Anderson’s decade the attic was rented to art students for a nominal rent which helped supplement monies earned by writing freelance for newspapers, art magazines and periodicals. He also curated three exhibitions – 'Soloists: outsider art in Scotland', for art™ in Inverness; 'The Ultimate Rock Garden: ceramics and photo-documentation by Lotte Glob', for McManus in Dundee; and "Women’s Work: decorated coffins", co-curated with Lynne Nealon and exhibited in Roseangle Gallery in Dundee. Filmmaker Doug Aubrey interviewed Anderson for his road movie 'Victim of Geography - from Sarajevo to Cape Wrath' – where his ritualistic pyre for a greylag goose closes the journey. Collaboration was an important part of Anderson’s working practice. His many interviews with artists, who each communicated their personal relationship with the land, were treated as collaborative dialogues, not just a simple question and answer formula, from which an article would be published. Many of these articles introduced relatively isolated artists to a wider Scottish public for the first time. Examples being Steve Dilworth, James Hawkins, and Danish-born ceramicist Lotte Glob who lived in Durness when writer and artist met. Anderson’s and Glob’s ideas converged so strongly that an intimate working relationship developed. She introduced him to the Danish avant-garde and CoBrA and he made her aware of the flexibility and durability of the book as a medium for expression. Their books of the land were exhibited in Glasgow and some of the surviving examples are archived at the National Library of Scotland. Others were returned to the land and photo-documented as abandonments.

When the Attic Archive was being broken up the National Library of Scotland received a donation of some files of correspondence. On the visit to collect these the curator was shown the Marshall Anderson collection of drawings, bookworks and journals, and these too were then brought into the collections of the Library.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

Papers, mostly of Marshall Anderson, from the Attic Archive, Dundee.

Identifier: Acc.13227 Box 1-Box 51(19)
Scope and Contents The Attic Archive evolved organically from the activities of Pete Horobin, beginning in 1978. When Horobin's association ended, the archive was continued in turn by Marshall Anderson, Peter Haining and, lastly, aitch. Each change of custody coincided with the start of a new phase of activity, each phase undertaken, usually, over ten years.The papers of the Attic Archive are now dispersed through various cultural institutions, each having a particular association with the archive,...
Dates: Circa 1980-2010.

`Walk Along the Dionard`, large composite artwork by Marshall Anderson.

Identifier: Acc.13329- is now part of Acc.13227
Scope and Contents

Large composite artwork, created from sections of a number of drawings made by Marshall Anderson during a walk through Strath Dionard in 1997. The drawing sections are mounted onto linen backing, the whole is designed to fold like a map. There are several similar works in Acc.13227, of which this is the largest example. The medium is Neo-art water-soluble wax pastel.

Dates: 1997

Additional filters:

Correspondence. 1
Dionard, Strath. Europe - United Kingdom - Scotland. Valley. 1
Drawings. Visual works. 1
Journals. Accounts. 1
Musical compositions. 1