The artist, Donald J Smith was my mother's brother. He graduated from Gray's School of Art and was head of Art at Summerhill Academy, Aberdeen. The school, under the educationalist R F Mackenzie, was famous for attempting to put A S Neil's ideas on liberal education into practice within a state-run system. Donald returned to his home island of Lewis in the late 1970s. His work was widely exhibited and collected but he has left a huge body of drawings, sketchbooks and paintings. His son, Jonathan Smith is working with an Lanntair to mount a large scale touring exhibition. I've had the great pleasure of meeting with Professor Murdo Macdonald to plan an associated publication in partnership with Acair. My own essay takes Donald's fascination with the netmenders of Stornoway harbour, as a starting point.
Here are some pages from his sketchbooks, photographed by Jonathan Smith.