A private donation was made for us to plant a tree and for a bench in memory of former Tutor Derek Hyatt [Guardian Obituary and Telegraph Obituary], who passed at the age of 84 back in 2015. It is not surprising why such a figure in the world of art should still be remembered after several years by those who were fortunate enough to encounter him.
Hyatt was influential as an artist and tutor, across several dimensions. Several people have talked about him, even though he’s stopped coming a while back. What is clear, is that many existing art tutors would give their favourite paintbrush set if they could garner just a quarter of the status that Derek Hyatt earned during his lifetime. His mark still reminds us of what a true artist can be – one who perceives qualities which the rest of us can miss. We can see such influences continuing in some of our Tutors, especially in some such as Michael Stewart and Steve Humble, Alex Jakob-Whitworth, Vicki Norman and even in the tablet art of Joseph Connor.
The tree was carefully selected by Neil our Gardener and should grow in years to come to provide a visual interest for artists. It won’t grow too high, but will change through the seasons. It is situated between the back of the Hall and the rear car park (which used to be the tennis court – graced many times, apparently, by Derek!)