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Reinhard Behrens

Artist Biography

In 1975 when I was working as a draughtsman for the German Archaeological Institute in Turkey on the site of historical Pergamon and suffering from the ill effects of a mild sun stroke I chanced upon a newspaper that reported a collision between a Turkish submarine and a Swedish cargo ship. The photographs reminded me of a toy submarine that I had found the previous year on the German North Sea coast. The only word in that Turkish newspaper that I could read was the name of the damaged ship: NABOLAND. My feaverish condition inspired me to combine this name with the image of my found toy : In years to come my little tin submarine would explore the unknown continent of “Naboland” . Like the archaeologists around me I would use found objects as proof of the existence of Naboland. My move to Scotland in 1979 to take up a post graduate course in Drawing and Painting at Edinburgh College of Art gave me access to the rich visual resources of the former British Empire and the explorations of the Edwardian era in particular. My joining of the Edinburgh University Mountaineering Club made it easy to feel like a member of Scott’s desperate party struggling for the South Pole and to explore the wilderness of the Scottish countryside through the goggles of the little tin mariner battling through the white outs of the Cairngorm plateau. The ready sense of humour and appreciation of oblique perspectives that I encountered in Scotland was not a small element in the growing success of my artistic vision that has sustained me and over the last four decades I expanded my original “Naboland the North” chapter by the following regions of my parallel world: Naboland – The Origins of Golf Naboland – Across the Desert Naboland – The Last Yeti Naboland – The Italian visits Naboland – A Flemish Excursion Naboland – The Viking Connection All these manifestations of “Naboland” have taken the form of drawings, paintings, prints and installations. For the last 10 years I have been working on the creation of a brief animation entitled “Naboland News” that will, in it’s Pathe News documentary style give final evidence of the existence of NABOLAND.

Born in Germany 1951

1971 – 78          Hamburg College of Art

1979 – 80          German Academic Exchange Grant for Post graduate Course in Drawing and Painting at Edinburgh College of Art

1982 – 84           Part-time Lecturer Edinburgh College of Art

1986                   Full-time Lecturer Grays School of Art, Aberdeen

1989 – 92           President of Society of Scottish Artists

1995 -                 Lecturer, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design

 Since 1987        Lives and works in Pittenweem, Fife

Selected Exhibitions 

Awards

1980                    Andrew Grant Major Award, Edinburgh College of Art

1981 & 1986     Educational Institute of Scotland Award (SSA & RSA)

1983                    Benno Schotz Award

1985                    IBM Award (SSA)

1987                    Scottish Arts Council Major Bursary

1991                    Paisley Drawing Biennale

1998                    Noble Grossart Painting Prize

2011                    Creative Scotland Bursary

 

Solo Exhibitions

1982                    Edinburgh College of Art   Henderson’s Gallery, Edinburgh

1984                    Glasgow School of Art    Printmaker’s Workshop, Edinburgh

1985                    Smith Art Gallery and Museum, Stirling

1986                    An Lanntair Gallery, Stornoway     Artspace Gallery, Aberdeen

1987                    McLaurin Art Gallery, Ayr    Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh

1988                    Seagate Gallery, Dundee      Pier Arts Centre, Orkney

1989                    Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh

1991                    Barrack Street Museum, Dundee

1992                    Galerie Gehring, Frankfurt       Aberdeen Art Gallery

1993                    St. Andrews Festival, University of St. Andrews   Open Eye Gallery

1996                    Arts in Fife Bus Tour  Campo Sant Chapel, Ghent

                            Crawford Arts Centre, St. Andrews

                            Galerie Claude Andre, Brussels

1997                    Kirkcaldy Museum and Art Gallery

1999                    Roger Billcliffe Gallery, Glasgow

2000                    Pittenweem Arts Festival

2004                    Byre Theatre, St. Andrews

2005                    Methil Heritage Centre, Fife

2006                    Marischal Museum, University of Aberdeen

                             Bonhoga Gallery, Shetland

2008                    Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh