Landscape with the Elements
Cottrell Memorial Tapestry
(Wool tapestry, 1973-4)
John Craxton was a leading painter of the Neo-Romantic movement of the 1940s, along with the Scots painters Colquhoun and MacBryde, and also influenced by Picasso and Samuel Palmer as well as Graham Sutherland.
Craxton had already met with Tom Cottrell, first Principal of the University of Stirling, to discuss a commission to create a tapestry depicting the Elements, but then came the latter's untimely death in 1973, and after first reluctance, the artist accepted the challenge to turn the work into a memorial piece. He worked closely with Archie Brennan, director of the Dovecot Studios, where the tapestry was woven over eight months. The work can be seen in the MacRobert building on campus next to the entrance to the Playhouse studio theatre.