RIP Prof. Campbell Bruce HRHA

I cannot believe that I am talking of Campbell in the past, he has always been there for all of us... please honour my friend and read on.


I am writing this on the eve of the funeral of an old friend, Campbell Bruce. Nothing unusual in this you may think, the elderly must pass; but, this is different; there was never anything elderly in the usual senses about Campbell.

I have known both he and his wife, Jackie for over thirty years. I met them first when I was hoping to get into Fine Art at N.C.A.D in the 1970’s. I had luckily taken the advice of Charlie Brady, and ditched some paintings I had thought were good, for two etchings I had made in Kildare Street, and I remember encountering Jackie at THE interview and being both terrified and fascinated by her in equal parts. Soon I was to meet Campbell, who was head of Fine Art. He was always very fair in his opinions, never cruel, and I can still hear his softly spoken advice.

There was always something different about Campbell and Jackie. When we finished college, they kept in touch with their students. They kept newspaper cuttings about them, went to their exhibition openings, or sent cards wishing them good luck if they couldn’t be there in person. They have been tireless in their support. “The Decade Show” held in the Guinness Hop Store proved this. Campbell and Jackie were still always there for us for advice. They are our friends.

One of the most memorable images I have of Jackie and Campbell is from last summer. We arrived to an almost deserted Roscarberry for an exhibition, which included some of Jackie’s work. Just as I was beginning to think I’d made a mistake about the date, the familiar gold estate car rolled up the main street and the pair of them emerged like two Hollywood film stars! They had STYLE! They ignited the fuse, and the party began!


God bless you Campbell, we'll look after Jackie.



You may be wondering what Squeak, the very destructive cat, has been up to these last few months. We have (almost) got used to her taste for fur, cashmere and the other finer things in life. Her ability to spot these when they come into the house, and while the unsuspecting guests are otherwise engaged, ferret them out, and drag the items away to either rip them to shreds or eat enormous holes in them, no longer surprises us. We now warn guests either not to wear such luxurious garments, or if they do – hopefully before the gimlet eye of Squeak spots them – we lock them away. READ ON...


Groovy man

I know this isn’t directly connected to “ART” exactly, but I thought last night’s Film Night deserved a mention of some sort.

On one Friday night every month, until it’s too bright to do so, we hold a Film Night in my studio. There are about 8 of us, and all the names go into a hat and each month one of us picks a film and another cooks dinner. We only find out on the night what film is selected. Sometimes we get a hint, and last night was no different. We were told it was from 1969, and to dress appropriately. So yesterday I decided to have a hunt through the wardrobe for ideas.



Nose back to the grindstone!

Well it’s back to normal, or as close to, after a fantastic Christmas in Radicondoli.

MLM wintergarden


We had very good weather for two weeks, and with just two afternoons of rain, I got lots of photos of the landscape at this beautiful time of year. The bare trees are almost more remarkable now than when they are in full leaf. The lightning struck chestnut tree which overhangs the terrace is at it’s best. But it may be the last year we have it, as it is due to be pruned back to encourage new growth in the next few months. Our neighbour is also in the process



Squeak insists she's the only house-cat

Suddenly it’s the looney season and things are begining to ramp up!!!

First it was the Botanic Gardens / Graphic Studio “A Natural Selection” Exhibition, which is selling like hot cakes as you read. Yesterday, I was delivering some work to the Cavehill Gallery for their C******** Show, and as I passed Banbridge there was a dusting of snow in the fields and I found myself humming “Let it snow” and “Santa Baby”!!! Scary! Later when I went shopping I inexplicably found some C******** decorations, various pressies, as well as new red sprinkly collars for Squeak and Missy in my basket. They must have magiced themselves there!




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