As the Senior School came together today to celebrate the legacy of George Watson, it fell to artist Angela Palmer (Class of 75) to make the Founder's Day Address.
Angela came to world attention when her exhibition, Ghost Forest, a major art installation consisting of 10 primary rainforest tree stumps which were brought to Europe from a commercially logged forest in Western Africa, took up residence in Trafalgar Square, London in November 2009. That work aimed to highlight the alarming depletion of the world's natural resources, and in particular the continued rate of deforestation.
In her address she recounted, with affection, her time at Watson's; her visits to Colinton Road from the Girls' School; some amusing anecdotes about teenage life; and even greetings via email from fellow schoolmate, Dr John Collee (Class of 73), who had turned his back on a career in medicine to be a Hollywood screenwriter (credits including Master and Commander starring Russell Crowe).
The theme of career change, taking different tracks, and maintaining links with Watson's recurred through her speech. Although she had left Watson's to go to Edinburgh School of Art, her journey to becoming an artist was not conventional, having been a journalist in newspapers (starting in the Edinburgh Evening News) and magazines (editor of Elle Magazine) before rediscovering her love of art, and going back to complete her studies in Art later in life.
In total a Founder's Day address that highlighted the paths that life can take, and the opportunities available to each and everyone.