The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews has celebrated the success of The 150th Open with a specially commissioned painting by renowned Scottish artist David Martin.
The painting, entitled 150 Memories, was unveiled at a special ceremony and is on display in the reception area of Forgan House which overlooks the 18th green of the Old Course at St Andrews where The 150th Open was played last year.
The painting is from the perspective of a young woman who is marshalling the 18th hole and depicts an array of visual references that evoke The Open – the players, spectators, grandstands and scoreboards as well as the iconic view of the 1st and 18th fairways with the Swilcan Bridge and The Royal and Ancient Clubhouse in the background.
Subtle references to the history of The Open are featured in the painting and it blends them together in a cohesive narrative and visually arresting way that encapsulates the spirit of golf’s original championship and the home of golf.
David Martin was brought up in the East Neuk of Fife and attended Madras College in St Andrews before studying at Edinburgh College of Art. Now based in Edinburgh, David has been awarded numerous commissions, has exhibited solo and jointly, largely in Edinburgh and Glasgow, and has won an array of prestigious art prizes and awards.
David said, “I have always enjoyed painting ordinary people in remarkable places but the opportunity to make a painting to commemorate The 150th Open allowed me to bring all of that home. Attending The Open was an incredibly uplifting and inspiring experience and I loved being in the thick of the crowds.
“My intention for the painting was not to focus on the star players but instead the audience and to try to create an image that says something about how inspiring this event was. If you look into the surface of the painting you will see it is full of over a hundred tiny portraits of fans, with all their different shapes and styles that capture the moment, but the scene is built around one figure – a young marshal, as she gazes down the fairway of the 18th. The painting invites you to imagine what she is thinking and see the scene through her eyes. So it’s really a painting about the inspirational nature of these events and the impact they can have on our lives.”
Angela Howe, Director of Museum and Heritage at The R&A, said, “The 150th Open was a historic milestone for the sport of golf but also for The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews and so it was important for us to commemorate that occasion for the Club’s members.
“David has produced a wonderful painting which captures so much of the energy that made The 150th Open special as well as the myriad of images and experiences that people enjoyed at the Championship.”
The 150 Memories painting is displayed in Forgan House in place of the driving-in ceremony painting which will be relocated elsewhere in the Club’s facilities.
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