Peter’s paintings celebrated in landmark show

The life of Peter Brook, Pennine artist and one of Brighouse’s most famous sons, is being celebrated in a landmark exhibition this month.

Eighty paintings from the Peter Brook estate are on show at the Clark Art Gallery in Cheshire until November 5. The exhibition, ‘Peter Brook: Looking back at the Pennines’, showcases one of the largest collections of the artist’s paintings in a commercial exhibition in the UK.

More than 20 paintings have already been sold with some of the smaller ones selling for £10-£11,000 and others for up to £15,000.

Gallery owner Bill Clark said: “We are selling the paintings on behalf of Peter Brook’s family and we are expecting a fantastic response to the exhibition.

“Peter Brook is one of the north of England’s most important artists but his popularity spreads far beyond. His work is collected all over the world.

“His paintings record the changing landscape of the Pennines and is disintegrating economy.

“His distinctive bleak country scenes, deserted farmhouses, derelict mills and lonely valleys are symbols of rural hardship.”

Peter, who died in 2009, lived in Woodhouse Lane, Brighouse, and taught art at Sowerby Bridge High School before leaving to concentrate on his painting.

He enjoyed commercial success in his lifetime and his paintings were collected by well-known figures in the theatre world including Tom Courtenay and James Mason, as well as being shown in some of the most prestigious galleries in the world.

His paintings were seen to evoke the essence of the rural north of England, depicting a world that was fast vanishing through haunting snow scenes, agricultural landscapes, field and farms.

Bill said: “Peter enjoyed great commercial and critical success during his life and left behind a wonderful legacy.

“No-one else quite captures the feel of the Pennines like Peter Brook. He always added an injection of humour into his paintings and often included his dog in his pictures.

“He has a long history of exhibiting in London in the 1960s and ‘70s and his popularity has just grown and grown.”

Peter’s widow Molly and the couple’s two daughters attended the exhibition opening in Hale last week.