Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Andrew Currie, sculptor

ANDREW CURRIE


Members will recall that in the February edition of the magazine there was an article " Andrew Currie, Borders Sculptor by Bob Johnston.

Some of the well known monuments which he created  are those of Mungo Park in Selkirk, the Ettrick Shepherd at St. Mary's Loch, two characters in the Scott Monument in Edinburgh and Robert the Bruce on Stirling Castle esplanade.

To co-incide with the bi-centenary of his birth his descendant  Bob Johnstone has now published a book on Andrew Currie entitled;


"CARVING HISTORY:  THE LIFE and WORKS OF ANDREW CURRIE  

CELEBRATION OF BORDER SCULPTOR’S BICENTENARY 

LONG-LOST MEMOIRS DISCOVERED IN AUSTRALIA, PUBLISHED FOR FIRST TIME"

 

Published by CreateSpace  £21.78 trade paperback (also on Kindle)


Andrew Currie (1812~1891) was more than just a gifted carver of large-scale monuments in stone - like Mungo Park in Selkirk and the Ettrick Shepherd at St Mary’s Loch - and finely-wrought furniture in wood. He was also an enthusiastic antiquary, an oral historian, and a writer who penned colourful stories of life in the Borders of his youth.

The son of an insolvent Selkirkshire sheep farmer, Andrew Currie was obliged against his will to take up a trade. He worked as a millwright until his mid forties, when his health broke. Only then did he become a sculptor, which had long been his dream.

Despite his late start and the fact that he was completely self-taught, Andrew Currie managed to win prestigious public commissions in competition with much better qualified rivals. He was, by all accounts, quite a character. He was also the author’s great-great-grandfather.

Carving History is a book in three parts. Part one is a biography of the sculptor’s life; Part two consists of illustrations of his works.  Part three is a collection of his writings, including memoirs and diaries about growing up in the Scottish Borders of the early nineteenth century. The manuscripts came to light in 2011, having lain unread in a trunk in an Australian farmhouse for many decades. They are published for the first time, to coincide with Andrew Currie’s bicentenary on 6 November 2012.
  
“Bob Johnstone has written a fascinating biography of his  ancestor, the Scottish sculptor and antiquary, Andrew Currie. Through painstaking detective work in many sources, a long-forgotten but interesting life has now been fittingly remembered and recorded.” 
                                                       — T.M. Devine, author of The Scottish Nation.

Bob Johnstone is the author of five previous books.  Now a freelance journalist, he has been a correspondent for New Scientist, the Far East Economic Review and Wired magazine.  He lives in Melbourne.

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