Alan Gouk was born in Belfast, but moved to Scotland as a child. He initially studied architecture. Upon moving to Edinburgh University 1961-64, Gouk began painting in an Abstract Expressionist style and from 1967 lecturing at St MartinĘs School of Art in London. He eventually became its head of advanced painting and sculpture. In his art Gouk used a heavy impasto style and strong colours. A John Moores prize winner in 1967 and 2002, Gouk showed widely and his work is held by the Arts Council, British Council and Tate Gallery.