#15 Gotta Dance

The Stirling-born filmmaker Norman McLaren is best known for his award-winning experimental animated works such as Neighbours, Blinkity Blank and Begone Dull Care. The University Archives holds a collection of McLaren’s personal papers including many examples of his artwork, which he created throughout his career in parallel with his film work. Rarely seen, the artwork provides further examples of McLaren’s visual experimentation and often provides the original inspiration for his films.

Experimental self-portrait, photograph, Norman McLaren, 1936.

McLaren was a student at the Glasgow School of Art from 1933-36, where he studied art and interior design. During this period he produced a series of chalk drawings in which he attempted to visualize various musical styles including Hungarian folk music, a military march, ‘oriental music by a Turkish orchestra’ and a ‘Scottish Rhapsody.’ His drawing of ‘hot dance music’ captures the excitement and experimentation of the sound of the jazz age.

Hot Dance Music, Norman McLaren, 1934.


Scottish Rhapsody, Norman McLaren, 1934.


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