R&A unveils painting by Fife artist to commemorate 150th Open at St Andrews

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The landmark 150th Open Championship staged in St Andrews has been commemorated with a specially commissioned painting.

The R&A engaged Scottish artist David Martin to produce 150 Memories which was unveiled at a special ceremony this week, 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 competition played last year.

The painting is from the perspective of a young woman marshalling the 18th, 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 first and 18th fairways with the Swilcan Bridge and R&A Clubhouse in the background.

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David 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, he has been awarded numerous commissions, exhibited solo and jointly, largely in Edinburgh and Glasgow, and has won an array of prestigious art prizes and awards.

The R&A engaged Scottish artist David Martin to produce the paintingThe R&A engaged Scottish artist David Martin to produce the painting
The R&A engaged Scottish artist David Martin to produce the painting

Hed 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 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.”

Angela Howe, director of museum and heritage at The R&A, described it as a “wonderful painting” and added: “The 150th Open was a historic milestone for the sport of golf but also for the R&A so it was important for us to commemorate that occasion for the club’s members.