Philip BRAHAM Born 1959 -
Born in Glasgow in 1959 and a student at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee from1976-80, Philip Braham came to prominence in 1986 with the defining Vigorous Imagination Eigorous Imagination dinburgh Festival exhibition at the SNGMA The exhibition helped established the reputations of a particular group of highly talented young Scottish painters, including Steven Campbell, Peter Howson, and Adrian Wiszniewski. He has been the recipient of many major awards, including the Scottish Arts Council, Greenshields and the VC Guthrie Award from the RSA. His work is held in the Collections of the National Galleries of Scotland, Flemings and Aberdeen Museum and Art Gallery.
Philip Braham is currently based in Edinburgh where he continues his practice as both painter and printmaker. A recent catalogue described his work thus:
‘He expresses his feelings and ideas by using landscape as a metaphor. His compositions convey through the representation of the elements- earth, fire, air and water - aspects of the human spirit where the viewer, initially attracted to the rich image of nature begins to enter a spiritual domain, the sum of whose parts is more that what is contained by the boundaries of the images. The mysterious symbolic character of Branham's landscape is being emphasised by his use of light which places him in the Northern European Romantic tradition. In 2001 he was selected to represent British Painting in a survey of contemporary painters in European countries exhibited in Amsterdam.'
These prints were created in an edition of fifteen in Edinburgh in 2003 by the artist and made using a photopolymer intaglio method. Photopolymer prints use a light sensitive photographic film are adhered to a metal plate (copper, steel or zinc). A transparency with a photographic (or drawn image) is then expose a in a light box to the metal plate which is etched/developed with soda ash to create the intaglio surface. The plate is then inked and run through a press with the paper so that the ink lofts off on to the paper to create the image.
The following is Braham's own description of the Augustowska series:
"In 2000, I made a series of monochrome paintings depicting the forest and surrounding landscape of Augustowska, on the border with Poland and Lithuania. I had read about the history of the region in a book by Simon Schama, “Landscape and Memory”, and I became fascinated by the stories he uncovered.
During the 2nd World War, many Jews survived in small cells by hiding in the forest, enduring pitiful hardship and living like animals. By the end of the war, as Stalin’s N.K.V.D. troops marched on towards Berlin, they were instructed to flush out Polish Liberation Army sympathisers. Entire villages were massacred, and their corpses hidden in the forest, never to be found. The dense cover of the forest had provided sanctuary and sustenance on the one hand, but hid dreadful atrocities on the other.
Working with Alphons Bytautas, I have selected three of these images to reproduce as prints, carefully adjusting the process to create an atmospheric interpretation of the subject."
Purchased with assistance from the National Fund for Acquisitions administered with Government funds by the National Museums of Scotland.