Glasgow in 2024 – Shipbuilding Over The Clyde

Acrylic painting on 250 gsm art paper, with digital additions for the text and logo.

Winner of the BSFA Award 2020 for Best Artwork.

This was produced for the Glasgow 2024 Worldcon bid and, perhaps fittingly for the subject matter, was given its own “launch” in July 2020.

Alt text: “In the style of a Norman Wilkinson vintage railway poster a spacecraft, comprised of geometric sheets of metal, hangs over a Clydebank shipyard in a crepuscular orange dusk, dwarfing the cranes and dock buildings. In the foreground a small tugboat plies the river. Acrylic painting by Iain Clark for Glasgow in 2024.”.

I am a huge admirer of vintage railway posters, and when I was thinking of ways to honour and reflect Glasgow’s shipbuilding heritage this seemed an obvious format to use. I’d previously done a railway style poster for Dublin 2019.

I decided to produce a “sister” piece to “Shipbuilding On the Clyde” by Norman Wilkinson (you can see it here and I don’t pretend to have Wilkinson’s skill!) updating it from an ocean-going ship to an imagined future spaceship being constructed in the old Clydebank shipyards. The time period in the painting is nebulous, combining historical photos with futuristic elements. Although in some ways the spaceship is quite abstract and reminiscent of 1970s SF covers, I incorporated shapes and textures intended to evoke a ship’s hull.

Although I wanted some of the feeling in the original piece I wanted to avoid copying the actual artwork and also to reflect aspects of genuinely local yards, so I went back to black and white photos of shipbuilding on the Clyde for my reference material. A number of elements were drawn from John Brown’s shipyard, for example this photo. The tug is based on the Empire Fred.

You can find a video of me talking about the painting on the Glasgow 2024 YouTube channel.

You can support the bid here:

You can buy a print of this painting over at my Etsy shop along with other original paintings and prints.

Original artwork © Iain Clark 2020.

“Worldcon”, “Hugo Award”, and the Hugo Award Logo are registered service marks of Worldcon Intellectual Property, a California non-profit public benefit corporation. “World Science Fiction Society”, “WSFS”, “World Science Fiction Convention”, “NASFiC”, “Lodestar Award”, and the distinctive design of the Hugo Award Trophy Rocket are service marks of the World Science Fiction Society, an unincorporated literary society.

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