R. D. Innes

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R. D. Innes
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  • Expressionist artist
  • woodcarver

R. D. Innes is a British Expressionist artist and Woodcarver. Innes spent his early years in Portobello, Edinburgh and his later childhood in the South of England.

In 1998 Innes[1] was commissioned to make a carved portrait of Scots Poet Laureate Makar Edwin Morgan (poet)|Edwin Morgan. Morgans epitaph poem 'The :commonsWood' celebrates the work and brings allegorical imagery to Innes in the poems content. The poem was included in Morgan's Cathures collection.

Morgan's later poem 'Open the Doors!', which opened the Scottish Parliament in 2004, brings further allegorical imagery to Innes and immediately afterwards to Morgan himself. Intended as gratitude from poet to artist. In conversation about the new Parliament building with Morgan, Innes had expressed a number of aesthetic opinions and the Makar had used some of them for the content of 'Open the Doors!'.

After Morgan's death in 2010 the work was displayed in the Hunterian Art Gallery in Glasgow.

Innes was trained in drawing and clay modelling by African-American artist Boyce Drake.[2] Innes worked for Drake in his Gloucester art shop and in some of his art classes and private clients as Artists Model (art)|Life model

Innes early work was in historical and Christian subject matter. Such as the Edward Jenner bust for Gloucestershires Edward Jenner Museum. Scottish poet Norman MacCaig for Stirling University and a Roman Legionary which fronted the Colonnae exhibition celebrated in 1995 the 1900th anniversary of the founding of the city of Gloucester.

In 1999 for the Millennium, Innes was commissioned to carve the Risen Christ for a multi-ethnic Church in Birmingham. He also produced a large panel of the Holy Family for the Holy Rosary and St. Theresa Church in Saltley. The large sculpture reliefs were unique in the sense that the church priest, Reverend Bernard Kelly, was co-designer of the works for his Church.

Innes carved a bust of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas for Swansea Museum in Portland stone. Attempting portrayal of the poet when he was older. A Christ in Caen stone for St. Paul's church in Kings Norton, and Christ in sycamore for St Mary de Lode Church, Gloucester.

Innes was a travelling companion to Isabella Blow in the early 1990s. He worked informally with her in ideas, drawings and carved wood parts in a Gloucester studio.

Innes was one of the seven woodcarvers who carved panels for the Peoples Door[3] at Cardiff Heritage Centre in Bute Park. Innes carved the Ducking stool and Coracle panels which were exhibited prior for inserting into the door at Cardiff Story Museum. Only the latter woodcarving made it onto the Door.

Innes is the grandson of Belfast auctioneer and artists' patron Robert MacDowell and matrilineal descendent of Victorian sculptor Patrick MacDowell.


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