Highlands & Islands

Country gents: New exhibition by Sutherland surrealist

Sutherland-based artist Mark Edwards creates scenes of men in great coats and bowler hats in snowy, wooded landscapes.

Working from a former shepherd's cottage, his The White Wood series has led him to being "described as a modern master of a very British form of surrealism".

The Catto Gallery in Hampstead, London, will exhibit 24 new original canvases from the series next month.

Image copyright Mark Edwards

The new works feature gentlemen in bowler hats, black crows, steam trains and empty buildings.

Image copyright Mark Edwards

Edwards' work has been described as "sinister, haunting and darkly comic". The White Wood is a theme the artist has been exploring for seven years.

Image copyright Mark Edwards

Edwards, who also illustrates books, said: "For me The White Wood is to do with silence, memory, separation and things that I still don't really understand, occasionally humorous yet sometimes disturbing."

Image copyright Gary Macleod

"But where I once felt uncomfortable and tense, now I'm far more at home with the surreal and intangible," he added.

Image copyright Mark edwards

Edwards paints from his remote studio in a cottage in Sutherland.

Having studied fine art at London's Medway Art College and then Walthamstow College of Art in the 1960s, he moved north to the rundown property on the shores of Loch Hope.

Alongside his painting, he worked as a gillie on the neighbouring Duke of Westminster estate.

In 2007, he stopped working on the estate and began creating art from which The White Wood series emerged.

Image copyright Gary Macleod

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