Gary Cook

  • 1058 West Melbury Winter No4

    1058 West Melbury Winter No4
  • Donhead Oak (1588)

    Donhead Oak (1588)
  • 1058 Ashmore Woods

    1058 Ashmore Woods
  • 1058 West Melbury No3

    1058 West Melbury No3
  • 1058 Duncliffe Wood No10

    1058 Duncliffe Wood No10
  • Petworth Oak (1120)

    Petworth Oak (1120)
  • West Melbury Oak (1856)

    West Melbury Oak (1856)
  • Wardour Castle Oak (1318)

    Wardour Castle Oak (1318)
  • 1058 West Melbury Winter No4
  • Donhead Oak (1588)
  • 1058 Ashmore Woods
  • 1058 West Melbury No3
  • 1058 Duncliffe Wood No10
  • Petworth Oak (1120)
  • West Melbury Oak (1856)
  • Wardour Castle Oak (1318)

Gary Cook lives and works in Dorset. He graduated from Bournemouth in 1987 and was made a fellow of the university in 1999. He is an environmental painter working mostly en plein air, creating watercolour and ink montages: a fusion of traditional painting with subtle messages about sustainability hidden within the works. His style is directly influenced by his background in the newspaper industry, where he was an associate editor and the senior artist for The Sunday Times for 26 years, winning many international awards.

"Working for a newspaper, I often produced diagrams highlighting environmental problems. Covering reports on climate change only intensified my concern for what's happening to our planet. As a painter, including an environmental message in each piece is very important to me.

"When a colleague at the newspaper became editor of the Ecologist she asked me to become the arts editor. I find writing even more challenging than painting, but it gives me another opportunity to highlight the damage we are inflicting on our world and ourselves. It is also a real pleasure to interact with other ecologically minded artists. It has been heart-warming to see just how many creative people are concerned about the environment because, I believe, their heightened visual skills enable them to observe on a forensic level and therefore be more sensitive to their surroundings. The chance to write about their work and share it with the hundreds of thousands of Ecologist readers has been really satisfying and so worthwhile."

His painting '1058: Melbury Beacon' was awarded Best in Show at the Society of Graphic Fine Art DRAW 18 exhibition. His watercolours have shown with the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours (RI), the Arborealists, and the RWA in Bristol. He is an associate member of the Society of Graphic Fine Art.

Gary Cook's solo exhibition Tree.Life runs from 03 to 09 Apr 2019 at Shaftesbury Arts Centre. His article From Little Acorns, written for the March/April 2019 issue of Resurgence & Ecologist magazine, is free to read online.

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