I first stumbled across Brown’s Gallery ten years ago when I was coming out of Harry Gow’s (later redubbed ‘Le Lapin Agile’ when it became a rendevous point for the artistically-bent riff-raff from Tain and its environs) with our then tiny twins and a big poke of Dream Rings.
Despite my misgivings – the gallery, after all, was some considerable distance from the cultural epicentres of Glasgow, Edinburgh and London – I was impressed by the total absence of the Scottish Swiss Tart School of Paintings, and the even less attractive Honolulu-in-the-Highlands Sunsetcsapes.
Since then I have really been impressed by gallery director Gordon Brown’s far-sightedness in acquiring the old bakehouse adjacent to the ‘Lapin Agile’ and transforming it into a great space for showing contemporary paintings that’s on par with the best of the country. Welcome to the new improved Brown’s Gallery – I’m delighted to be hanging around.
However many times you walk into the gallery in the bakehouse, which Gordon Brown has created with sensitive dedication, the experience is both a surprise and delight. The quality of the exhibited artists chosen by the curator matches the best to be found anywhere in Scotland today.
There is a discriminating eye behind these choices, which recognises not just accomplishment, but the drive of the true artist to take risks in order to reveal more. To visit this North Highland gallery is certainly worth a detour. It is to experience a confrontation with excellence in contemporary Scottish art.
The Rt. Hon. Lord Maclennan of Rogart