working with a scythe is silent, unhurried, rhythmical, and conducive to thinking . . .

Roger Deakin


Born Alyth 1960. Allan grew up on farms in Perthshire but has lived and worked in Aberdeen since 1982. In 1992, he completed a practice-led PhD that focused on chance and decision making within the creative process. Between 1994 and 2016 Allan taught sculpture at Gray’s School of Art, during which time he held various roles including Course Leader for Sculpture and Head of Fine Art. Throughout his academic career, Allan continued with his art practice, participating in a wide range of projects including exhibitions, public art commissions, artist-in-residence schemes, and international workshops with a focus on hands-on making.

Allan is a Trustee on the Board of Grampian Hospitals Art Trust and has served as a Director on the Board of Peacock & the Worm. In 2019, along with Peter Baxter, he founded Deemouth Artist Studios based in Torry, which now has a community of around 40 artists, designers and makers.

Allan Watson, Sculptor


​Growing up on a farm meant that I became familiar with working with my hands from an early age. My grandfather taught me to work with tools when I was very young, giving me my own small saw and axe to help him saw logs and chop kindling. I even had a half-size scythe. When using such tools or working in the fields tattie howkin’ or pickin’ berries, I discovered that my mind could wander freely as my hands got on with the work. Years later when I read ‘Notes from Walnut Tree Farm’ by Roger Deakin I immediately recognised what he meant when he writes: “working with a scythe is silent, unhurried, rhythmical, and conducive to thinking . . .

Similarly, in “Oak: The Framework of Civilization”, writing about ancient cultures, William Bryant Logan suggests “In order to make, they had to imagine. In order to imagine, they had to make. Between thinking and making, the world we know emerged. The mind made making possible, but making opened the mind.

And so, in my studios over the last 35 years I have kept making and imagining.