Auchencrow artist in national exhibition

Chris Brook with one of his multi media paintings of Holy Island on show at the 'Number 9' gallery in St Abbs.
Chris Brook with one of his multi media paintings of Holy Island on show at the 'Number 9' gallery in St Abbs.

A BERWICKSHIRE artist has had works selected in all three categories of a prestigious annual exhibition.

Chris Brook, of Auchencrow, has four pieces of his work on display as part of the Royal Scottish Academy open exhibition programme in Edinburgh.

Each year the Royal Scottish society of painters in Watercolour (RSW), the Society of Scottish Artists (SSA) and Visual Arts Scotland (VAS) hold a joint exhibition at the Royal Scottish Acadamy.

Submissions were invited last year to exhibit work in any of the three exhibitions, which are taking place this month.

And Chris, who runs the Number Four gallery at St Abbs with his wife Jenny Brook Martin, had work accepted by all three societies.

“That doesn’t happen very often so I’m really pleased,” he told The Berwickshire News.

“Sometimes you get work accepted, other times you don’t. It was the first time I’ve submitted work for one of the categories this year so it’s great that that’s been accepted.”

As well as having work accepted by all three societies, Chris has also won an award for one of two accepted pieces by the RSW.

“I had four pieces accepted,” he said. “Two were mixed media, one of those went to Visual Art Scotland, the other was accepted for the Society of Scottish Artists’ exhibition.

“The other two were also mixed media but mostly water colour. They are mostly abstract but landscape orientated.”

He added: “I’m looking forward to the preview, it’s always nice to see the show.”

Born in Sheffield in 1960, Chris has worked professionally as an artist since 1995.

He originally worked with fine art publishers as a freelance illustrator, producing original artworks for reproduction.

With designs published both nationally and worldwide, his work changed direction in 2006, when he and his wife opened their own gallery space in St Abbs.

“The gallery offered my work a platform, and through experimentation with subject and technique, allowed the development of my current working practice, a fusion of both painting and printmaking,” Chris explained.

“Subject is generally landscape driven, and the Berwickshire and North Northumberland coastline provide a constant source of inspiration.”

Chris says his work is never intended to be site specific, rather abstracted representations of alternating weather patterns, the tonal changes of the season, and the interplay where land meets sea.

The juxtaposition of painterly marks, and the directness of graphic lines and symbols, are combined with elements that possess a tangible and tactile quality, which he considers to be of equal importance as the visual.

“The outcome is intended to provide the viewer with familiar, recognisable key elements while allowing them to form their own narrative,” he said.