Born in Western Australia in 1935, alumna Geraldine Scott took an extraordinary path to DMU and a fascinating career after graduating. Although sadly she passed away in late 2019, she is survived by her husband and children. Her daughter Cherie has kindly shared with us her incredible story:
“My mother was born in Western Australia in the 1930’s and married into a farming family at an early age. Mum was a classic Australian sheep farmer’s wife. She managed scratch cooking, sewing, baking, and feeding an army of workers whist raising 4 children. The, my Mum and Dad took a decision which would change their lives and ours forever. We emigrated to the UK in 1970.
“Whilst my father went into business for himself, Mum always had a very creative, artistic side and won many competitions with her beautiful, unique wedding cakes with intricate icing flowers. So, she decided to study art as a mature student and gained a place on a foundation course at Burleigh College in Loughborough.
“Successfully completing her foundation studies meant that she could go on to further her dream and study a BA in Fine Art at De Montfort University. She loved all kinds of art, but her primary area of interest was ceramics and she produced some incredible pieces through her lifetime. She loved her time at university, and I am incredibly proud of how well my mum did whilst managing the challenges of raising 4 children.”
After successfully graduating with First-Class Honours in 1982, Geraldine went on to open The Ascott Gallery in Ashby de la Zouch with her friend and fellow alumna, Maureen Chantry who had this to say:
“I’d known Geraldine for a long time, since we both studied at Burleigh College and we were good friends during our time at De Montfort, or Leicester Polytechnic as it was known then. We had very different outlooks which complemented one another well, she was into italic writing, ceramics and pottery whereas I was more interested in landscapes and painting.
“We worked collaboratively to decide what shows to put on, at first it was mostly people we knew well and folks from local art colleges who were just starting out. We were really keen to support young people from local schools and the polytechnic; we sort of knew how difficult it could be for them to showcase their art and how personal it was. We were very much learning as we went along with running exhibitions, but it was a fantastic experience for us both.”
Geraldine was also a devoted philanthropist, engaging in lifelong charitable work in Ecuador. She donated much of the proceeds from the sale of her artwork online to the building of houses and infrastructure for poor communities in the country through local nuns.
Letters to Geraldine from local children in Ecuador.
Cherie said: “My mum was one of the most humble and modest people I have ever known, she always remembered her roots and was dedicated to giving and helping others, especially those less fortunate in life. Her hard work, dedication and generosity to people in Ecuador helped to change so many lives and I’m so proud of her for it.”
You can read more about Geraldine’s charity work in her account of her life and visits to Ecuador “In a Strangers Eyes: Beyond Chasing Your Dreams, You Leave and Live Them.”
Do you have a story about an incredible alumnus or alumna you’d like to share? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know.
Posted on Monday 27th April 2020