In Conversation with Lachlan Goudie, Glasgow Art Club, October 6th 2022.
The Conversation with Lachlan Goudie was led by Roger Billcliffe on a blustery early October evening in the Glasgow Art Club and hosted by the Friends of Glasgow Museums with this event also being open to members of the GAC.
Both men are significant figures in the Scottish and Glasgow art scene, Lachlan as a successful artist, writer and broadcaster and Roger an academic, Director of the Fine Art Society, writer and gallery owner. The span of years covered by both meant that they gave us personal as well as historical and professional reflections on their lives lived through and with art. Lachlan’s book, The Story of Scottish Art, was the basis of a conversation taking us through generations of artists and movements that shaped Scottish art.
Lachlan’s childhood spent within his artistic family combined with his own career as an artist meant that we could share his memories of exhibitions by his father, the renowned artist Alexander Goudie, held in Glasgow through the latter decades of the C20th. Roger’s depth of knowledge gave us his reflections on the artists he has researched and written about such as Charles Rennie Mackintosh, whose illness in his youth lead to him suffering from a drooping eyelid and that in old age the consequences were he saw through only one eye impacting his art in terms of perspective in his later years’ water colours.
The conversation took us through the late C19th, Colourists and The Glasgow Boys with several paintings being featured to illustrate their themes. Artists including John Duncan Fergusson- The Grey Hat; Samuel John Peploe- Luxembourg Gardens and Sir James Guthrie- A Hind’s Daughter were used to illustrate changing styles and influences in Scottish art.
The Glasgow School of Art and the tragedy of the two fires and still no plans for the rebuild were discussed with warm reactions from the audience. Its unique place on the world stage being lamentably underestimated in bringing people to the city specifically to visit the building created by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
A final reflection to give us thought was that both Lachlan and Roger felt that Glasgow School of Art’s continuing to teach art figuratively compared to other Scottish art schools who have stopped has led to GSA keeping its international reputation.
Friends of Glasgow Museums thank the Glasgow Art Club for their hospitality in holding this event in their building with the place it holds in the history of art in the city, a most suitable venue indeed.