Peter Brook (1927-2009) was the son of farmers. He was brought up in West Yorkshire, where he spent most of his life. Whilst training as a teacher at Goldsmiths College, London, he visited galleries and attended life drawing evening classes. He further developed his art alongside his teaching career back in Yorkshire. On trips in the countryside with his art students he would tell them to use the same approach, “If you want a subject, look around you”.
Brook became a full-time artist in his 40’s and in 1962 was elected member of The Royal Society of British Artists. He took part in successful collective exhibitions and well-received one man shows throughout the UK, USA and Australia.
The crumbling farmhouses on sheep dotted moors sweeping into the distance, people bustling around honey stoned houses, faithfully observed by the farmer and his dog, always provided Brook with the subject matter he desired. Whilst he worked elsewhere in the British Isles, he continued to return to the Yorkshire Pennines.
Although his subjects remained consistent, Brook continued to work on his techniques and approaches to subject. Having started out using thick paint, he started to use the very sandstone he painted, crumbled to a fine dust and mixed with thinner paint to give more substance to his buildings. He was further inspired by the hazy effect of Victorian prints which led him to sometimes use rags, wire brushes and his fingers to conjure streaky clouds or smoky skies.
Permanent collections include:
The Tate Collection
Victoria & Albert Museum
Wakefield Art Gallery
Leeds City Art Gallery