Our Contribution to British Art

Strolling through the heart of London, as you do, we were surprised, and delighted, to see the above painting of George Irvin’s Traditional Helter Skelter standing in Hyde Park for the Royal Wedding last year. The painting was in pride of place in the window of Messum’s Gallery in Cork Street, London, W15.

The painting is the work of Peter Brown, and good old Wikipedea has supplied the information on him below.

Peter Edward Mackenzie Brown (born 28 July 1967) is a British Impressionist painter popularly known as “Pete the Street” from his practice of working on location in all weathers. He is best known for his depictions of street scenes in Bath, London, Oxford, and Cambridge, as well as landscapes.

Life and career

Pete Brown was born in Reading and educated at Presentation College, Reading. He graduated in fine art from Manchester Polytechnic in 1990. He moved to Bath in 1993, where he lives with his wife Lisa and four children, and took up painting full-time in 1995. He developed a vigorous en plein air style, and happily interacts with passers-by while at work. “Working is like being at a party. I need to be at the centre of things,” he has said. “Consciously or subconsciously, what I experience finds its way onto the canvas.”

Brown was elected a member of the New English Art Club in 1998. He is represented by Messum’s in Cork Street, London, and also shows regularly at the Victoria Art Gallery, Bath. In 2006 he became the first Artist in Residence at the Savoy Hotel, London. In 2008 he won the Prince of Wales Award for Portrait Drawing.

This is what Peter says about this particular painting. “In the week leading up to the royal wedding at the end of April I found myself standing in Hyde Park, having just emerged from teh several football pitch sized underground car park via a terrifying long concrete lined corridor only to face what looked like thousands of thousands of portaloos. I started a painting of the Serpentine but abandoned it and then came across a wonderful orange and cream helter skelter, owned by well known George Irvin, which I could not resist. It took a couple of goes on consecutive days and here is the beautiful result reflecting the wonderful attraction.”

So we are now enshrined in the British Art establishment, and very proud indeed.