Burns Banner unveiled in Edinburgh
In partnership with artist Stephen Raw, the Scottish Poetry Library invited the Scottish Diaspora and those closer to home, to paint a letter which has now been collaged into the ‘BurnsBanner’. Stephen drove over 4000 miles around Scotland gathering letters from the numerous workshops he ran. From Orkney in the north, to Dumfries in the south, to Eyemouth in the east and Iona in the west (and everywhere in between!) folk were keen to take part. Showing two verses of ‘A Man’s a Man for A’ That’, this huge artwork was situated on Market Street, opposite Waverley Station in the centre of Edinburgh. The Burns Banner was unveiled on 6 August 2009 at the start of the Edinburgh Festival and formed one of the events for ‘Homecoming Scotland’ becoming a spectacular creation to celebrate Robert Burns 250th anniversary. The project was funded by the Scottish Arts Council. Many of those who made a contribution are on this DVD made by Juliet Rees:
Hear Brian Cox reading the poem at http://www.bbc.co.uk/robertburns/works/a_mans_a_man_for_a_that/
The ‘BurnsBanner’ Project Manager for the SPL was Jonathan Meuli who can be emailed on: email@example.com
STEPHEN RAW (born London 1952) has lived in Manchester for the last thirty years. He has been a self-employed artist and designer since he returned to Britain from two years teaching at the National Arts School in Papua New Guinea, during which time he worked closely with Archie Brennan.
Stephen’s work is varied, from paintings in exhibitions through to cover designs for Carcanet Press and his commercial lettering for a variety of clients, including leading publishers, architects and design groups throughout Europe. ‘Fundamental to all my artwork’ Stephen says, ‘is a love of language and how that language is given a visual dimension through signs we simply call letters: never-failing sources of inspiration. Letters are images in themselves and, for me, that’s more than enough to be getting on with.’ Recent commissions have been for a design for a stone commemorating the founders of the Royal Ballet and working on collaborations with the poet Carol Ann Duffy.
Stephen has exhibited his own work widely: Germany, Ireland the United States and Italy. One of his paintings, words by Nelson Mandela, is in the renowned collection of the Stiftung Archiv der Akademie der Künste, Berlin. All his book jacket/cover artwork, part of the Carcanet Press archive, is now kept by the John Rylands Research Institute, University of Manchester.
Currently he sits on The Royal Mint Design Advisory Committee, chaired by Sir Christopher Frayling.
‘Sweet Sister Death Has Gone Debauched Today’ (see ‘Catalogue elsewhere on the website) was exhibited at Parson’s School of Design, New York, in 2001 as part of a Glasgow School of Art travelling exhibition. Stephen was a visiting lecturer in Glasgow for 15 years and, until recently, was a part-time tutor on the MA Design Course, Manchester Metropolitan University. He occasionally lectures there still.
He is a frequent visitor to the Isles of Mull and Iona where the people and landscape have inspired many pieces including ‘Kilvickeon’ and ‘Isle of Mull Diary’. Perhaps this in part due to the fact that a branch of his family came from an unspecified part on the west coast of Scotland.