On my frequent trips back to Scotland, one of my favourite pastimes is a stroll down Dundas Street in the famed “New Town” area of Edinburgh which provides an opportunity to visit a wonderful array of art galleries.
Late last year, I was sorry not to be able to visit an exhibition by Lachlan Goudie, the Scottish artist and TV presenter, at the Scottish Gallery. Goudie has become prominent in art circles over the last two decades, presenting some fascinating documentaries as well as BBC TV’s The Big Painting Challenge. Having been commissioned to document the construction of new aircraft carriers for the Royal Navy, his recent work includes a number of scenes of the shipyard at Rosyth on the Firth of Forth (on the east coast of Scotland).
This is not a new endeavour for Goudie as he has also depicted shipyard scenes at Govan on the River Clyde in his native Glasgow. I find his work tremendously impressive, as he is skilled in capturing the fascinating colours, geometry and activity of shipyard life.
Lachlan is the son of Alexander Goudie (1933-2004), a Scottish figurative painter who was born in the industrial town of Paisley just to the west of Glasgow and who studied art at the world famous Glasgow School of Art. His portrait subjects included Queen Elizabeth II and the comedian Billy Connolly, but one of his most famous commissions was in the maritime arena.
Back in the late 1980s, he was commissioned to play a huge part in the interior decoration of MV Bretagne, a new-build ferry for the Brittany Ferries fleet. This was a project very close to Goudie’s heart as he had a huge connection to the Brittany region through marriage to his Breton wife, and as a result had spent a huge amount of time depicting the local ways of life, particularly among the farmers and fishermen of the area.