Alan Davie (1920-2014) was born in Grangemouth and studied Drawing and Painting at Edinburgh College of Art from 1938 to 1940. From 1953 to 1956 Davie taught in London at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, where he became interested in African and Pacific art.
As a jazz musician, Davie was concerned with the importance of intuition and improvisation, as expressed in the form of enigmatic signs through his paintings and printmaking. He was inspired by American Abstract Expressionism as well as Surrealism and the Cobra group. He developed his own unique form of expression combining mythic imagery and inspiration from African and Oceanic Art as well as Zen Buddhism.
Davie collaborated very closely with Dovecot to create a number of tapestries, including To a Celtic Spirit woven in 2003 and situated in the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, as well as Cosmic Spiral, and an impressive rug Celtic Spirit II.