For the last seven years Lachlan Goudie, judge on BBC’s Big Painting Challenge, has been sketching and painting in the BAE shipyards on the Clyde and Forth, chronicling the construction of the new generation of Royal Naval ships (specifically the world leading Type 45 destroyers and the monolithic Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers), as well as capturing the people who work to create these giants. This exhibition is the first opportunity to see Lachlan’s drawings and paintings on display in Portsmouth, HMS Queen Elizabeth’s home port.
Exhibition of contemporary artworks by Lachlan Goudie
Lachlan Goudie is a Scottish artist who first developed a fascination with shipbuilding whilst growing up on the Clyde. As a child, it was the past glory days of ‘Clydebuilt’ ships that captured his imagination, not the stark reality of industrial decline that he witnessed. Therefore when construction on the Royal Navy’s newest and biggest aircraft carrier commenced, he was determined to document this monumental engineering project and record modern shipbuilding.
“Apart from a few no-go areas I was free to wield my pens wherever I wished”Lachlan Goudie
On the Clyde
Goudie was impressed by the hive of activity he saw before him. On entering the massive shed where the sections were under construction he was struck by the four deck slices which resembled a great honeycomb of steel. Every aperture contained someone busy welding or feeding cables through holes.
Lachlan Goudie recently approached The National Museum of the Royal Navy with a proposal for an art exhibition to show the completion and fitting out of HMS Queen Elizabeth – the first Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carrier, due to enter service in the Royal Navy in 2020. His intention is to display paintings that highlight the development of this monumental engineering project and reflect the wider impact of the ship’s build, both from a technical and naval angle to the widest possible audience. His paintings include ones showing the ship in her completed or near completed state.
Goudie has painted 50-60 paintings depicting the construction of the Type 45 destroyers and the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers– 45 of these paintings, including the ones already held in the National Museum collection, can be seen on his website. His work is executed in a variety of media: gouache, acrylic, charcoal, chalk, watercolour, ink, graphite, carbon and pencil. He works quickly to produce detailed sketches in pen and ink or pencil before working them up into larger oil or gouache paintings.
Don’t forget that when she is in her home port, you get the very best view of HMS Queen Elizabeth from Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Some of the best places are from the poop deck on HMS Victory, the viewing balcony in the Victory Gallery and, to get really up close, the harbour tour - which you can take from outside Boathouse 4.