The idea of The Beach House Gallery has been in development for over 40 years. Whilst still at college in Scotland, we started up a small business called Papyrus selling illustrated notepaper to friends and family, through the student union and a few stores in Glasgow and through Heal’s, the upmarket contemporary design store in London. We dabbled in a number of other small arty ventures before taking the plunge in 2011 to open Hebrides Art, a VisitScotland 5-star art café on the Isle of Harris. The gallery was successful beyond our wildest dreams. Over 6 seasons, we looked after 80,000 visitors and achieved sales of over £1 million. Sadly, it was all a bit too busy and, reluctantly, we decided to close the business. However, as my lovely sister always says, when one door closes another one opens. We decided to move up to Isle of Lewis and build our very own Grand Design, complete with a custom-built gallery space, right above the beach at Dalbeg on the wild west coast.
We’re open most afternoons but we’re happy to see people any time (within reason). If the open sign is up, we’re most definitely in – just ring the bell and come in (the outside door opens outwards). If the closed sign is up, just give us a call and we can arrange a mutually convenient time to visit. You’re always very welcome to come in and look around – there’s absolutely no obligation to purchase.
Lesley’s bio: “I feel a strong connection with the sea. So, it’s not surprising that seascapes form the basis of most of my paintings, created from a mix of observation, memory and imagination. I love to bring out the abstract qualities using bold colours and strong light. Silk is a great medium because of the way in which the colours move around and interact with each other, creating vibrant and evocative images. Harris, Lewis and St Kilda always inspire.”
Alisdair’s bio: “I’ve been painting and drawing for most of my life. Early inspiration came from the classic age of children’s book illustration, in particular Arthur Rackham. I soon found myself creating images of the West Highland landscape from countless holiday memories. I work primarily in watercolour and pen & ink, with everything in focus. Nowadays, the untamed land and seascapes of the Outer Hebrides provide limitless subjects for my work.”