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Timothy Neat

Timothy Neat


Born: 1943 in Cornwall
First Book: Part Seen, Part Imagined: Meaning and Symbolism in the Work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Margaret Macdonald (Canongate, 1994)
Awards: Short-listed for the 1995 McVitie First Book of the Year Award and won a Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year prize in 1995 for Part Seen, Part Imagined; winner of the 1997 Ruth Michaelis-Jena Ratcliffe Prize for The Summer Walkers.

Timothy Neat was born and brought up in Cornwall. He completed a degree in Fine Art at the University of Leeds and moved to Scotland in 1968. From 1973 to 1988, he lectured in History of Art at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee. During his time there, he became the founder-editor of a fine-art periodical called Seer. He also took over the convenorship of the Scottish Sculpture Trust, supervising the major George Rickey sculpture exhibition on Clydeside (1982), the Eduardo Paolozzi exhibition at the Royal Scottish Academy (1984) and the funding and erection of the Hugh MacDiarmid Memorial Sculpture in Langholm (1985). He also organised a series of national conferences on topics including public art, women’s art and Scottish art. In 1997 he was a consultant to the City of Glasgow’s international touring exhibition of work by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. He is presently preparing a major exhibition of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British and Irish Glass.

Also well known as a filmmaker, Timothy has made a number of independent films and documentaries, including The Summer Walkers (1976), Hallaig (1984), Play Me Something (1989) and Walk Me Home (1993). In 1991 he was employed as a documentary consultant for Scottish Television and during this time there, he wrote the libretto of an opera, Mackintosh, in collaboration with the American composer, Russell Currie. His articles and poems have been published in various literary magazines and he continues to make occasional appearances on radio and television in Scotland.

Timothy now earns his living as a migratory bee-keeper and is in demand as a honey judge for shows across the east of Scotland. He is also a wild-mushroom hunter and works closely with the distinguished restaurateurs David Wilson and Antonio Carluccio.

Timothy’s Birlinn titles include When I Was Young: Voices From Lost Communities in Scotland (2000), a two-volume work; The Voice of the Bard: Living Poets and Ancient Tradition in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland (2002) and The Horseman’s Word: Blacksmiths and Horsemanship in Twentieth-century Scotland, (2002).

Since 2002 Timothy has been working on a major two-volume biography of his great friend and collaborator, Hamish Henderson. The first volume, Hamish Henderson: The Making of the Poet, will be published by Polygon in July 2007 and the second volume, Hamish Henderson: The Making of the People is scheduled for publication in September 2009.

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