Willie Rodger


At art school in the 1940s and 50s only the best draughtsmen got to do graphics and printmaking.

By the time Willie Rodger had left Glasgow School of Art he had sold two prints to the Victoria and Albert Museum. He had found his medium.

Unhappy with working in advertising, Rodger became a teacher. He taught at Lenzie Academy and went on to become Principal Teacher of Art and Design at Clydebank High School.

"... but I always believed if you taught you should practise it. I boasted I could walk out and get a job. When I resigned in 1976 I had to prove it."

Since then Willie Rodger's work has been exhibited widely, at galleries such as the Collins Gallery, Glasgow and the Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh as well as in various touring exhibitions and in shows in London. In 1971 he was Artist in Residence at Sussex University.

"The prints may seem like a spontaneous, first time thing but in fact I go through hundreds of versions and sheets of paper editing, editing till I get it right."

Over the years commissions have included posters, calendars, historical playing cards, book covers, book illustration, designing stained-glass, the hundred feet "Finnieston Mural" commissioned by Scotrail and even road signs in central Scotland.

The hallmark of Willie Rodger's work is, as Cordelia Oliver has identified, "... its sharp edged, clean cut blend of boldness and delicacy, austerity and wit, and the notably economic use of a medium which he clearly came to understand in all its limitations as well as in its richly evocative possibilities."


Images © Willie Rodger - Return to Homepage