Garth Scott was a man of many talents and throughout his life, alongside his career as a teacher, he assumed the roles of painter, playwright, composer and published illustrator and poet. Despite his self-proclaimed ‘sporadic’ engagement with painting over his lifetime, Scott was no hobbyist; his ability to animate a landscape with rapid brushwork and his involvement with David Bomberg and the Borough group sets him apart.
Scott was born in London in 1931 to Angus Scott, illustrator and cartoonist. His studies at the Bromley School of Art were interrupted by two years of National Service for the Royal Army Ordinance Corps during the Second World War. When he returned to the Bromley School of Art, he also took up evening classes at the Borough Polytechnic under David Bomberg, along with fellow students Dennis Creffield, Leon Kossoff, Frank Auerbach and many others. However, he was expelled from Bromley School of Art as his ‘Borough’ influence on other students was considered by the principal to be misleading and harmful. Given the opportunity to stop working in the Borough idiom and join pottery or fabric printing at Bromley, or face losing his grant and being expelled, Garth chose the latter.
In 1953 he spent four months painting in Andalucía with Miles Peter Richmond, Susanna Richmond, Dennis Creffield, Roy Oxlade, Cliff Holden and Dorothy Mead (artists associated with the Borough group), and went on to spend time painting in Ronda, Yorkshire, London, Suffolk and Kent. In 1956 he was invited by Bomberg to Ronda, regretfully Scott was not able to attend and Bomberg died shortly after. Scott exhibited in March 1955 at Walker's Galleries with Bomberg and the Borough Bottega and at the South Bank University in October 1992.
For five years after leaving the Bromley School of Art, Garth pursued temporary employment, as porter in Victoria Station, farm labourer and wages clerk to name but a few, painting in his free time. In 1956 he began teacher training and in 1985 retired as headmaster of a primary school.