Gray: Beyond the Horizon

Hand, Gesture, Finger, Thumb, Font

Gray: Beyond The Horizon is an interactive, multimedia exhibition that invites its audience to journey through the pages of Alasdair Gray’s Lanark: A Life in 4 Books.

The project was written and devised by Rachel Loughran and produced in collaboration with The Alasdair Gray Archive. The project was first exhibited by Loughran at The Glasgow School of Art postgraduate degree show as part of the Art Writing MLitt programme. For the show, Loughran made a replica archive based on items found at The Alasdair Gray Archive and invited viewers to scan QR codes to delve into a virtual version of Gray’s seminal novel Lanark.

The interactive exhibition has been installed at The Alasdair Gray Archive for visitors to enjoy when they come to the space. Scroll below for more information about The Archive and to enter the exhibition.

We hope you enjoy exploring what intrigues lie beyond the horizon.

Gray: Beyond the Horizon,  Rachel Loughran, Glasgow School of Art (GSA), 2022; Lanark Book Jacket, Alasdair Gray, screenprint, 2014, courtesy The Alasdair Gray Archive

The Alasdair Gray Archive
The Alasdair Gray Archive is a free, public resource located at The Whisky Bond in Glasgow. It was established in March 2020 after Alasdair Gray’s death in late 2019. When you visit it, it's like walking into Alasdair’s front room, complete with all the objects and items that surrounded him, many of which feature in his work. The Archive has a restaging of his working studio, his personal library, all his publications (including those he designed for others), literary papers, photographs & correspondence, original visual artworks, sketches, prints and drawings. All are held here for research & learning thanks to the generous support of his son, Andrew. We are continuing to expand the collection by enabling anyone to deposit their own Gray items into the Archive to help it grow.
The Archive is passionate about developing new audiences for Gray’s work through projects & events such as Gray Day. It supports educational opportunities by developing resources for primary & secondary schools (see Wee Gray Activities) and offers placements for undergraduate & postgraduate students. We also commission new work by asking creative practitioners to respond to elements of Gray’s work, practice or approach, to produce something new that is meaningfully connected but also exists as a new work in its own right. We have been developing these creative commissions in partnership with Creative Writing at the University of Strathclyde. The approach is rooted in the fact that many of Gray’s greatest works across the visual and literary arts were a creative response to existing works.
Throughout his working life Gray sought to celebrate and declare his influences, seeing them as an integral part of all making. His most famous quotation, ‘Work as if you live in the early days of a better nation’, was adapted from ‘Civil Elegies’ by Canadian poet Dennis Lee. In his murals, Gray frequently responded to existing sources such as the Book of Genesis, populating his Garden of Eden with ordinary Glaswegian faces. Lanark’s frontispiece for Book Four was a Scottish reimagining of the frontispiece by Abraham Bosse for Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan (1651). Similarly, we encourage and support artists to creatively respond to Gray’s oeuvre. By taking inspiration from Gray's output and making new work that can stand alone the Archive will remain a generative resource. Anyone is welcome to visit The Archive. Please email to book.
Rachel Loughran
Rachel Loughran is a Scottish writer and digital designer with an interest in archival research, literary criticism and interactive storytelling. She holds a double-first in English from the University of Cambridge and has held editorial positions at Harper’s magazine among others. Her recently published work includes literary criticism for The National and a feature on the Scotland’s apple-growing heritage for Linseed Journal. Rachel is currently working in collaboration with The Alasdair Gray Archive on an interactive exhibition on Gray’s Poor Things.

Gray: Beyond the Horizon,  Rachel Loughran, GSA, 2022,