SHIPYARD PAINT­INGS BY LACH­LAN GOUDIE

Scot­tish Mar­itime Mu­seum, Irvine, to 12th Fe­bru­ary 2018

The Oldie - - ARTS -

For the past seven years, Lach­lan Goudie has been sketch­ing and paint­ing at the BAE ship­yards on the Clyde and Forth, chron­i­cling the con­struc­tion of the next gen­er­a­tion of the Royal Navy, in­clud­ing the Type 42 de­stroy­ers and the air­craft car­ri­ers Queen El­iz­a­beth II and Prince of Wales.

Goudie is a 40-year-old from Glasgow. Al­though he grew up with ship­build­ing as part of the back­ground, he never worked in the man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try. How­ever, he has a deep sym­pa­thy with those who do, and a keen-eyed ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the great beauty to be found in in­dus­trial build­ings and pro­cesses.

Re­cently, he made a film called Awe­some Beauty: The Art of In­dus­trial Bri­tain for BBC Four, which was an in­tel­li­gent an­ti­dote not only to what he con­sid­ers cho­co­late box pas­toral­ism, typ­i­fied by ‘The Hay Wain’, but also to LS Lowry’s bleak, near-mono­chrome vi­sion. An in­spir­ing mo­ment came in an in­ter­view with two Go­van ship­builders, who ob­jected to the word ‘man­u­fac­tur­ing’, say­ing rather that the work­force was hand­craft­ing th­ese vast ships, which would be­come liv­ing things as they en­tered the water.

As Goudie is well aware, he has been work­ing very much in the man­ner of the First and Sec­ond World War of­fi­cial artists, and he also knows their his­tory. He is a great ad­mirer of Muir­head Bone, who recorded essen­tially the same shipyard scenes ex­actly a cen­tury ear­lier. ‘Be­neath the Hull’, a paint­ing of an air­craft car­rier’s tow­er­ing bow, is close kin to Ed­ward Wadsworth’s ‘Daz­zle Ship’ paint­ings and prints.

Next March, the ex­hi­bi­tion will move to the Na­tional Mu­seum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth. www.scot­tish­mar­itimemu­seum.org

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