Ally Leith - West burn by William Dyce

Podcast Transcript

Westburn, William Dyce

My name is Alastair Leith and I work in the Aberdeen Art Gallery. My favourite object within the Gallery is a picture by William Dyce in Room 2 called the Westburn. The reason I like it, is that I see the park on a daily basis, as it is today, and I'm fascinated how it used to look when it was painted. It's a picture I see every day and I just like it.

Deirdre: What is it you particularly like about it Ally?

Ally: It's just the memory of seeing Westburn so many years ago and to realise that the building from then is still there today. And the actual painting itself, the texture, it's just everything about it, the work I like.

Deirdre: And is Dyce one of your favourites in the Gallery?

Ally: I do like Dyce within Aberdeen Gallery, not only because he is a local artist, just I like his work of art.

Deirdre: Have you worked with the painting at all?

Ally: I have not actually worked with that Dyce picture because it's more or less been in the same position since I started, but I have worked with other Dyce pictures, which I really enjoy doing.

Deirdre: Ally do you want to tell me what your favourite object in the Gallery, one that you've chosen?

Ally: I've chosen a picture by William Dyce, the Westburn, which is in Room 2 in the Gallery. It's a picture I've been very fond of since I've started and I keep looking at it every day and it just being a picture of what it used to be to what it is now, which I see every day.

Deirdre: So it's the comparison between the old and the new?

Ally: Exactly yes.

Deirdre: So do you want to tell me, has that area in the city changed?

Ally: That area, with the two parks, Victoria and Westburn, has changed a great deal and I'm just amazed by what it looked like then and actually seeing the burn, the Westburn, how it flowed through the park, in the picture. Also there's a building, what we call the white house, where many a time I used to play around and to see it in that picture by Dyce and it's still there today, to me is amazing. The Westburn, the colours in the picture, is just amazing to me. The trees and everything about it is what a park should look like. Also I like the sort of theme, the old and the new within Aberdeen and to see some of the pictures in the Gallery related to that, I'm very pleased to see.