NHS Lothian provides a comprehensive range of primary, community-based and acute hospital services for the second largest residential population in Scotland.

We believe creativity, arts and design should be woven into all our work as there is good evidence that these have a positive effect on wellbeing and health.

Artworks in Collection


656



Total Pageviews

788

Birch Wood

by

Alex Gourlay

BirchWood
Birch Wood by Alex Gourlay
Oil on Paper
10.2 x 29.5 cm

Reg. Number: NHSL02111

In the NHS Lothian collection.


Print Label Print Label

Alex Gourlay knows Shian Wood very well; it is not far from where he lives in Port Appin, Argyll. Over the course of a year he returned many times to make a series of drawings and paintings of this ancient woodland. In a panoramic view, the silvery bark of the birches shines amongst russets and ochres and a warm blue sky. The landscape is framed by a group of trees on either side with a large area of open space in the foreground. There is a glowing quality to the oil paint.

He says 'It was my intention at the time to show the changing seasons and moods of the woodland throughout the year'. Much of his work is rooted in the landscape of the West Highlands. His partner Midge Gourlay is a textile artist and their three children are all artists. This painting was exhibited in a show called 'Family Tree'; the first time all of them showed work together. Artlink Hospital Arts sponsored the exhibition which was shown in hospitals and galleries in Aberdeen and Edinburgh from 1999-2000. His Artist Statement says “I enjoy living on the edge – the coast and the shore – a place of arrivals and departures – the attraction of opposites. The age-old qualities of nature in the rocks, trees, the skies and water consistently recur as themes in my paintings. My work is heading towards a tension between realism and abstraction: technical control versus the effects of chance'.

Alex Gourlay was born in Loanhead in 1941. He trained at the Glasgow School of Architecture from 1960-1963 then at the Glasgow School of Art, graduating in 1967. His long career included working in television as a scenic designer for the BBC from 1987 and as Head of Design at BBC Scotland from 1993 to 1995. He moved to the West Coast of Scotland in 1996 where he works as an artist and undertakes some architectural commissions.

The studio in Port Appin, Argyll was designed by him and is shared with the textile artist Midge Gourlay, his partner. His work is inspired by the landscape of the West Highlands, the Outer Hebrides and the Corbieres in South West France where they spend part of the year. He has exhibited widely in Scotland and has worked on many television and film productions in the U.K and abroad.
View More


upBack to top

Since 1991 our charity has been assembling one of the largest and most prestigious Collections of original Scottish art in the country. These artworks are uniquely available for display in hospitals and other healthcare settings.


Art in Healthcare is truly committed to the important role that art plays in the healing environment but we need your help to properly maintain and build this unique Collection for the enjoyment and benefit of the hundreds of thousands of staff, patients and visitors who view it each year.


With your help we're able to:


Keep our Collection on display in hospitals and care homes
Support young artists at their degree shows
Buy artwork from professional artists
Provide fun-filled art workshops for patients and care home residents
Develop our training programmes for volunteers


Adopt an artwork from our Collection for just £3 a month and you'll receive:


Your name (or a loved one's) written next to your chosen artwork online
A certificate of adoption with a picture of the artwork
Invites to Art in Healthcare's special events
First to view our latest Prestigious Print
Our colourful e-newsletter


"My patients really enjoy looking at our collection. Sometimes they even do an 'art tour' around the premises." ~ Barron Dental Practice


You can adopt an artwork in the gallery, if it hasn't already been adopted, by clicking the 'Adopt Me' button below the picture of the artwork.


NHS Lothian provides a comprehensive range of primary, community-based and acute hospital services for the second largest residential population in Scotland.

We believe creativity, arts and design should be woven into all our work as there is good evidence that these have a positive effect on wellbeing and health.

Gallery Search


Total Pageviews

788