Lamplight is an exciting new solo exhibition of watercolour paintings by award winning artist Victoria Rachel Brook, widely-acknowledged as one of the most exceptionally-talented emerging young illustrators of her generation. Victoria’s imaginative, magical images of children and animals have already secured her a well-deserved reputation as a first-class illustrator and artist among collectors and the general public alike. The demand for her limited edition giclee prints at Jane Newbery and her other represented galleries in Godalming and Eastbourne has been overwhelming.
Victoria’s exhibition at the Jane Newbury Gallery will feature original pieces available for sale for the first time, as well as a selection of her work from the last five years since turning professional after graduating from the University of Reading with a first-class honours degree in Fine Art.
Victoria began her career creating large scale installation pieces with fellow artist Caroline Fletcher. Their critically acclaimed mobile arts venue ‘The Pink Bus’ was toured around the UK’s galleries and festivals, from the Royal West of England Academy in Bath to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and London’s Southbank Centre. The notoriety from this high profile work also bought her portraiture commissions for musicians and comedians and requests for bespoke pieces of illustration for children and young families. After relocating back to her hometown of Eastbourne, she works on the East Sussex coast creating exquisite watercolour paintings and running art workshops in schools. She is also half way through illustrating her first children’s book, co-written with award winning comedian Ben Target. At the end of last year Victoria won ‘Women of The Arts 2014’ presented to her at the East Sussex Women in Business Awards.
The main themes of her work are inspired by her passion for children’s literature. Illustrators such as Tove Jansson, Judith Kerr, E.H.Shepard, Oliver Jeffers and Edward Gorey are among many artists who influence her paintings.
She says “I am extremely passionate about making art accessible to everyone. Illustrations in children’s books are the first experience many of us have to see the world through another person’s perspective and be wholly accepting of it. Art helps you to see the potential and the possibility in everything. My work relies on the viewer being encouraged to see the magic in an everyday moment, because possessing the belief that anything could happen is an incredibly liberating one”.
The subjects of her watercolours, although often found in isolated settings, are always illuminated or protected.” I like my characters to be safe whilst they escape into the extraordinary”. Although they are illustrative pieces, each one tries to allow only the glimpse of a story, letting the viewer imagine a wider narrative.
Victoria has had many varied commissions, from painting the award winning comedian Paul Foot in a giant bowl of fruit, to corporate artwork, to bespoke pieces for new babies, parents and grandparents. She is always looking for new projects and new challenges to be able to practice her skills and find new ways of painting her story.
LAMPLIGHT: A Celebration of Childhood paintings by Victoria Rachel Brook shows until the 18th July at Jane Newbery, 33, Dulwich Village, London, SE21 7BN.