So synonymous is Bryan Evans’ work with Glasgow and the west coast of Scotland, you’d be forgiven for thinking that he’s a Glaswegian; anyone that interested in the residential architecture of the city must surely hail from The Dear Green Place.
A short verbal exchange with the artist will soon put that notion to rest. Glasgow may have been ‘home’ for decades, but the town of Milford Haven was the first to hold that particular title and the gentle, melodic accent of his birthplace remains unaffected.
Bryan had already made the move to England as a student — Loughborough College of Art is where he obtained his fine art degree — but it was a three month exchange visit to Glasgow School of Art that proved pivotal and pulled him away from Pembrokeshire for good.
To those familiar with his work, it will come as no surprise that Bryan’s first flat was a west end tenement. Charmed by the character of the close (the building’s shared stairwell), Bryan considered this thoroughfare (seemingly overlooked by his contemporaries) worthy subject matter.
Now that his own close had been committed to canvas, it was time to explore the rich variety of closes across the city. Inspiration was (and continues to be) endless: richly coloured encaustic Victorian floor tiles; the gleaming, glazed Art Nouveau tiles of a so-called ‘wally’ close; countless varieties of stained glass; propped up bicycles; a couple stealing a kiss by the back door as a neighbour ascends overhead… Glasgow’s closes are as varied as the shadows that pass through them day in, day out and it’s Bryan — whether in his purpose-built garden studio in Rothesay or his tenement studio in Kinning Park — who sits contentedly in his smock and brings them all to life.
In this auction you’ll discover some of the artist’s street scenes, too — Ashton Lane and Great Western Road among them. All familiar ground for Bryan, who can be seen riding his bicycle around the city he knows now like the back of his hand (he’s lived here for 34 years, after all).
Admirers of Bryan’s work can be found all over the globe so wherever you live — be it the west of Scotland, West Wales or Wellington — we hope that this collection of 32 paintings and prints appeals to you. It certainly appeals to us and we will sincerely look forward to the auction on April 14th. Join us for live online bidding at 7pm or, if you’re local, meet us at Serenity Now café to bid in the room with our auctioneer (and proud owner of a Bryan Evans original) Natasha Raskin Sharp.
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