(‘capricious love’ Douglas Donald McDougall > 140cm x 100cm charcoal on 300gsm Snowdon cartridge)
I was born 1963 to Scottish parents in the seaside town of Blackpool Lancashire, North West England. Blackpool at the cusp of the sixties was a UK tourist hotspot that attracted holidaying Brits from the four corners of the British Isles. Famous for its steel built tower, very much inspired by the Eiffel Tower of Paris, and long beach with a promenade of bustling entertainment venues adorned in multi coloured neon illumination. My father was an electrician who was qualified in erecting and maintaining neon signage, so this pretty much seemed like the perfect destination to set up shop and start a family.
My mother was afflicted by an acute case of post natal depression directly after giving birth to me, and i was never to bond with her. At the age of five i was struck down with a blood disorder that had me in and out of hospital for over four years. It was at the very start of this period when my parents decided to split and my father took me back up to Scotland.To his hometown of Glasgow. By this time my father’s business had spread nationwide, meaning he was now having to travel all over the country, so the job of my upbringing was passed over to close relatives.
Yes, art kicked in early for me. I became an avid scribbler on hospital time, not in your standard child viewed portal of innocent spontaneity by way of crayon houses n glitter rainbow skies. No, in many ways i focussed on my immediate environment and in a more creative occupational therapy mould to compensate for the needles, plastic tubes, bed baths and removal of my natural parents. There was an almost daily routine of what i suppose you could call creative surrogacy, a facility that helped mask the intimacy deficit that played in tandem with the ever jarring piercing stark world of hospital interiors.