‘St Kilda Revisited’, an exhibition at the Brook Gallery to celebrate the release of the Box Set 2010 of etchings by Norman Ackroyd CBE RA, ties in nicely with the 80 year anniversary of the evacuation of the St Kilda community in 1930.
Coincidence or not, it’s an exhibition of work that defies the power of nature in its production. These haunting images by the master printmaker seem to capture the moment of departure, starkly and awe-inspiringly; the islands seem as if ready to be swallowed up by nature as the wind and the sea recaptures them.
St Kilda, the remotest part of the British Isles in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides, is an archipelago once home to a small group of hardy Scots who lived off all that nature meagerly had to offer.
This exhibition does two things: celebrates and commemorates islands which some once called ‘home’. Says Angela Yarwood, owner of the Brook: "Norman’s work evokes an incredibly powerful resonance; it’s just as if you’re looking back for the last time, with your boat buffeted by the wind. It’s an exhibition that is extraordinary in many ways, and we’re delighted that the Brook has been chosen to be the first gallery to be able to offer this unique portfolio for sale."
Norman Ackroyd CBE RA is a mainstay at the Brook - his work is part of the backbone of the Gallery’s collection. The Box Set 2010: St Kilda Revisited, typifies one of Ackroyd’s favourite subjects, showing off his skills to their upmost. Much of his work is acid etched on copper plate; a print taken from the intricately worked plate creates atmosphere and life. It’s a skill that’s brought Norman Ackroyd celebrated status as one of the foremost British contemporary artists in the world. His continuing relationship with the Brook is evident by his acceptance to join the team and customers at the Private View on 16 October.
Born in 1938 in Leeds, Ackroyd attended the Leeds School of Art from 1956 to 1961 and subsequently the Royal College of Art to 1964. He quickly followed with many solo exhibitions, both here and abroad and the public collections in which his work is held is a roll call of the great and the good, in the UK and worldwide: the British Museum, Tate Gallery, the V&A in London; Museum of Modern Art, New York and the National Gallery, Washington DC and in Europe, the Stedelijk and the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, among others.
Norman Ackroyd was elected a Royal Academician in 1991 and made Senior Fellow, Royal College of Art in 2000. The Box Set 2010: St Kilda Revisited is not just a chance to have these special works of art, but a piece of history crafted by one of Britain’s greatest artists. The exhibition also includes two of Ackroyd’s rare watercolours and a selection of work from the last 15 years - a privilege for the Brook and its customers.
Private View with Norman Ackroyd RA 6pm–8pm Saturday 16 October 2010 by invitation only. Exhibition: 16 October to 13 November 2010
Open 10.30am to 5pm, closed Sunday mornings
Brook Gallery, Fore Street, Budleigh Salterton, Devon, EX9 6NE
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