Dave White’s Carnegie memories
For his latest exhibition, British artist Dave White has chosen a venue that is close to his heart – The Carnegie Club at Skibo Castle in the Northern Highlands. Widely regarded as one of Scotland’s best kept secrets, it is the former home of industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, whose influence on Liverpool was felt throughout White’s upbringing.
White says: “Growing up in Crosby, a suburb of Liverpool, I spent many of my childhood hours in Andrew Carnegie Library, which was opposite my dad’s butcher’s shop. It was, and still is, a wondrous Edwardian-style baroque building, which felt like a palace to me as a child with its parquet floors, high ceilings and sash windows.
“The small chairs and dedicated children’s section felt like my very own world, with a fabulous selection of books that I otherwise would not have known about. In later life as an art student, I spent many an hour after school or university in the reading areas and went on to loan the larger-scale beautiful art books. It was also the first place that I used a computer, in the early days when they first came out and were beyond a household budget. The library, like so much of Andrew Carnegie’s legacy, has such a special place in the hearts of the community.”
The Carnegie name is also important to White as his father – who White says he gets his creativity and work ethic from – would walk down Carnegie Avenue every day on his way to his butcher’s shop. While his father sadly passed away the week that White graduated from university with a fine art degree, he did see his son being awarded an arts prize before that and was immensely proud.
White says: “Now, with my work hanging in Andrew Carnegie’s home, he would be literally bursting with pride, that his son, who dedicated his life to his passion, is fulfilling his dreams.”
White’s year-long exhibition is the latest hosted by The Carnegie Club and follows previous collaborations with Ralph Steadman and Phil Shaw. His latest exploration of British wildlife will be on show in the Skibo Gallery until the end of the year.