The Forge Shopping Centre
News & Events Thomas McGouran

Thomas McGouran

March 2023

The Forge Shopping Centre, based in Glasgow’s east end, has granted 95-year-old artist Thomas McGoran one very important wish.

From 6 to 26 February, a unit within the centre will display Thomas’s stunning artwork. People are being encouraged to make time to visit over the next few weeks.

Entry to the gallery is free but donations are welcome, all of which will go to local children’s charity, With Kids.

Thomas moved to Glasgow when he was just four years old and cites the city as the inspiration behind all his stunning art.

He said: “Come and see the beautiful city of Glasgow through my eyes growing up. The paintings are free to view, and none are for sale. My only wish is for people to see my art before I die.

“I will be here each day from 10:00 until 17:00 and would love to talk about the inspiration behind each painting, as well as answer any questions you might have. It’d be an honour.”

Thomas has been on quite the journey since moving to Glasgow in 1931, snippets of which you can find in his beautiful hand-drawn art.

His story has humble beginnings. In 1988 he retired from a long and varied career, including three years in the Royal Air Force, and accepted a box of oil paints as a gift from his wife, Jenny.

With no formal training, Thomas taught himself how to use the materials by way of trial and error. Now, his skills are refined enough to produce the level of expert work you’ll find in this temporary gallery.

Jade Wilkie, marketing manager at The Forge, said: “We didn’t hesitate to give Thomas a spot in the centre to showcase his work. His art is beautiful, and he’s such a kind, sweet gentleman. He deserves to have his paintings admired by thousands, which is why we encourage people to stop by and view them whenever they get a spare five minutes.

“The community is everything to us and this little project ticks so many boxes! Not only are we granting a local artist a very meaningful wish, but together we’re also raising vital funds for a children’s charity. We just hope we can get support from as many people as possible until February 26.”