Glenn Rowles of Rowles Fine Art of Ludlow, exhibiting Braaq
Glenn Rowles of Rowles Fine Art of Ludlow, exhibiting a number of Braaq at the Northern Antiques Fair

From Harrogate hotel trainee chef to sought after Northern artist

3 October 2019

A number of paintings from Brian Shields, who was better known as Braaq are exhibiting at the Northern Antiques Fair an artist often compared to Lowry.

He was one of 12 siblings and was discouraged by his father to become an artist.  After leaving school, in 1968, he moved to Harrogate to become a trainee chef in a Harrogate hotel.

He continued to paint, but was refused an exhibition in Harrogate – that only happened following wider success.

Brian wanted to brighten the hotel he worked in and painted a mural signing it Braaq, keeping his identity a mystery.

This mural caused a great deal of interest in the area and a local journalist identified Brian Shields as the painter, a pivotal moment in his career.

From this point he never looked back, holding his first exhibition in 1974. In 1977 he was invited to hold his first of four exhibitions in London’s West End. It was after this exhibition that ‘The Times’ described him as “one of the six most successful artists in England”.

The name a Braaq is a misspelling of French artist Braque which, a nickname given to him at school.

Braaq Hoop Rolling with my friends
Braaq – Hoop Rolling with my friends, at the Northern Antiques Fair, £18,000

Glenn Rowles of Rowles Fine Art of Ludlow is exhibiting, said:

His style is very similar to Lowry, but with more movement and colour.

Brian included his sister Ann’s name along with his own signature on his paintings, dedicating all his work to the sister who died aged 21.

These paintings have become increasingly collectable over the years.

Following the passing of his sister at only 21, Braaq signed his paintings with Ann, in memory of her

All Brian’s paintings are based, in a humorous way, on his childhood memories of Liverpool. He frequently painted himself as a boy wearing a striped jumper.

In 1997 at the age of 46 Brian died, leaving a contribution to the art world which ranks him among the leading artists in the country.

The Fair is running between the 3 to 6 October at the Harrogate Convention Centre. There are many items of local interest.

William Greaves 1852 to 1938 oil painting of Knaresborough
William Greaves 1852 to 1938 oil painting of Knaresborough
Trifle From Harrogate C1770, showing Fountains Abbey
Trifle From Harrogate C1770, showing Fountains Abbey

Helen Sutcliffe of Sutciffe Galleries in Harrogate, said:

The fair has been well attended so far and it’s one of the most prestigious antiques fairs in the country.

For us it is an important showcase as we have recently combined our contemporary and fine art into one Harrogate gallery.


List of exhibitors 2019

S & J Abbott Ceramics Plus Fine quality 18th to 20th century ceramics, prints and small collectibles
The Antique Enamel Company English and Continental enamels, Viennese enamels, gold and enamel snuff boxes, rare perfume bottles and automation boxes from the 1700s to the 1920s
Ashleigh House Fine Art Fine 18th to 20th century oil paintings
Berlin Walls Gallery Works on paper by mid 20th century Berlin artists
Bryan Bowden Antiques British pottery and porcelain, specialising in northern ceramics (pre 1850)
Bridgefields Furniture, fine art and antiques transport and storage
John A W Briggs Fine quality Persian rugs
Mark Buckley Antiques Fine Victorian and Edwardian furniture and works of art
Burton Antiques Important sculpture, Old Masters to modern art, fine English and European furniture, silver and works of art
Roger de Ville Antiques Specialising in 18th and 19th century English pottery
Dementia Forward A local for local charity supporting people affected by dementia
J Dickinson Maps & Prints Fine quality antique maps, views and prints
Ellis Fine Art Late 18th to early 20th century oil paintings and country furniture
Garret & Hurst Sculpture Bronzes and sculpture by the Master sculptors of the 19th century. Featuring contemporary works by Margot Homan and Robert Glen
Granta Fine Art Modern British paintings
Greenstein Antiques Fine diamond jewellery
Harrogate Tipple The home of Premium Harrogate Gin and Premium Harrogate Rum
Haynes Fine Art Dealers in quality 16th to 20th century paintings in London and the Cotswolds
Hickmet Fine Arts Fine Art Nouveau and Art Deco sculpture and glass
Hispanic Antiques Fine quality Spanish antiques and decorative works of art
Howards Jewellers Fine quality antique jewellery
Howell 1870 Victorian and early 20th century jewellery and vintage watches
Stephen Kalms Antiques Fine English and Continental silver
Valerie Main Ltd Fine quality Worcester porcelain
Markov Fine jewellery, decorative and applied arts
Marris Antiques Fine quality 18th & 19th century English and Irish glass
Melody Antiques Purveyors of seriously good antiques
Millington Adams Fine quality period furniture, clocks and paintings
NFU Mutual Vale of York Insurance and financial products
Olde Time Fine antique clocks and barometers
Opus Antiques Antique treen and decorative wooden items
T. L. Phelps Fine Furniture Restoration Specialist restoration and conservation services in the North of England
Elaine Phillips Antiques Antique oak furniture and associated decorative items
Ptarmigan Antiques Period furniture, paintings and works of art
Rountree Tryon Galleries Specialising in sporting, maritime and wild life paintings
Rowles Fine Art Fine 19th, 20th and 21st century British and European paintings
Graham Ruddock Antique Ceramics Specialists in pre 1850 British porcelains
Shapiro & Co Interesting and unusual jewellery, silver and objets d’art, including Arts & Crafts
Jack Shaw & Co Fine quality silver, specialising in canteens of silver cutlery
Solo Antiques 20th century designer glass and Art Nouveau & Art Deco sculpture and works of art
Something Different Small pieces of period furniture, portraits and works of art
Sutcliffe Galleries Dealers in fine paintings from the 18th century to the present day
Sutcliffe Contemporary Fine contemporary paintings

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