A Cultural Odd Job Man
Since I graduated in 1967 with a degree in philosophy I have had a career in exhibitions, print and video as a free-lance designer and producer. I returned to study philosophy part-time in 1999 and the paintings changed from being about structures to being structures in their own right. In 2011 I returned to painting on paper and canvas.
School: Brighton College, Brighton, Sussex.
BA, University of Wales (UCNW Bangor). 1967. Philosophy.
1968-70 (UCNW Bangor) Postgraduate research student studying for an MA in Aesthetics (unfinished).
MA, Middlesex University. 2002. Aesthetics and Art Theory in the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy. Dissertation: Understanding Jackson Pollock, an historical study of the series of interpretations involved in the reception of Jackson Pollock’s art and life.
2002 Award of bursary from the School of Arts, Middlesex University, for part-time study for an MPhil/PhD within the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy.
PhD Middlesex University, 2009.
‘The Memory and Expectation of Aesthetics: A Study of Adorno’s Aesthetic Theory’
Part-time demonstrator/tutor in the department of Philosophy at UCNW Bangor, 1967-69, responsible for tutorial groups in Epistemology and Ethics.
Part-time Lecturer in General Studies, English and Media studies, Gwynedd Technical College, Bangor, 1970-1975.
The Arts 1970s/80s
Research reports and feasibility studies for The Wesh Arts Council, The Crafts Council, Regional Arts Associations and local authorities. Exhibition catalogues for touring exhibitions. Visual Art journalism for art and craft publications. Writer for Artscribe, and other fine art publications such as Pantheon in the late 1970s.
Art and Design Exhibitions
Research and organisation: Welsh Arts Council/Crafts Council,, ‘Davies Brothers Gatesmiths,’ 1977.
East Midlands Arts, researcher and exhibition organiser,‘What We Have!’ 1977-80
Selected retrospective exhibition of the work of Michael Cullimore for Welsh Arts Council, 1982.
Audio visual organiser on ‘Young Blood’, The Barbican, 1983.
Organised ‘Crefft’ a showcase exhibition for Welsh craft for the Welsh Arts Council as well as a ‘Bookbinding’ exhibition and conference, 1985-6
Fine art and crafts exhibition designer to the Royal National Eisteddfod of Wales, 1985-89.
As an audio-visual and video producer working in the field of corporate communications in the 1980s Alan McPherson produced programmes for product launches, sales promotions and staff training. Client companies included; BMW, Hawker Siddeley, Freight Rover, Ruddles, Allied Bakeries, Brush, Evode and Herbert Morris.
Primary author on The Audio Visual Handbook, Pelham Books, 1988, a complete guide to the world of audio-visual techniques. The book provided comprehensive practical advice on all forms of corporate communications from basic speaking aids to complex multi-media displays.
Researched, wrote and designed visitor information displays for The National Trust at properties which included: Calke Abbey, Hardwick Hall, Dovedale, Milldale, Winster Market House, Belton House, Ilam Hall, Longshaw, Manifold Valley and Tattershall Castle.
Designed portable touring exhibitions for schools and colleges for English Heritage Education.
Designed English Heritage Education stands for The Education Show at the NEC (1995-2005).
Designed exhibition including interactive audio visual display for Malton Museum (2005) on the archaeology of Ryedale.
Designed educational material for English Heritage Education 1986-2005: Termly magazine Remnants (Issues 1-22), termly magazine Heritage Learning (issues 7 - 30), Resources, Using Historic Sites, Free Visits, educational press advertisements, and many titles in the two series, ‘Education on Site’ and ‘Teacher’s Handbooks’. Site information leaflets, corporate identity leaflets, posters and other print.
Print design for The Churches Conservation Trust: a series of churches booklets and Handbook for Teachers.
Scriptwriter, director and producer on 15 videos for English Heritage Education, 1990-00s. These included a series of three 30 minute films on the techniques of archaeology and a film on how best to point brickwork, which were all broadcast on the BBC Learning Zone. In collaboration with animator Clive Walley produced the English Heritage Education Service animated film logo.
Stills photography for National Trust, English Heritage, Lantra, and Le Blanc Fine Art.
In the spring of 2010 Philosophy at Middlesex was under threat of closure.
Middlesex University is sleep walking into a global public relations disaster by the announcement of the imminent closure of Philosophy. The world-wide condemnation of this boneheaded decision, which is surely gathering force, can only be avoided by a volte-face which, judging by the low level of decision making exhibited thus far, seems unlikely. The blind pursuit of the bean counters holy grail of 2% is regrettably entirely understandable in an institution that clearly has no morality, holds nothing dear and is merely beholden to a crass accountancy that is blindly indifferent to wider values. By proposing to close the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy, Middlesex University has transformed itself, as if by magic, into a world centre for excellence in the worship of the bottom line. This short termism leaves Middlesex University standing proud as a beacon of incompetence, indifference, and the second rate. Henceforth Middlesex will have an international reputation as an educational institution unfit to call itself a university.
The Centre for Research into Modern European Philosophy moved to Kingston University in the autumn of 2010.