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Portrait of a Dorset Artist – Brian Freelander


Artist Brian Freelander first visited Poole when he was a baby and in 2005 he relocated back to the borough.

Born in Southend, he spent the first two years of his life living with his grandparents in Parkstone Avenue, Poole. “But my nan had a bad heart and she could not continue to look after me,” recalls Brian, who now lives in Winifred Road, Poole.

“My uncle adopted me and I moved to Bethnal Green, London.”

In 1987 Brian’s career as a designer in the architectural and graphics professions saw him achieve acceptance as a fellow of the Society of Architectural Illustrators. He lived in Hackney and then Romford but all the while there was a longing to return to Poole.

“I always used to spend the Easter and summer holidays with my grandparents and loved the freedom down here; I used to swim in the sea. It was a complete contrast to the drag of London. Poole always felt like home to me.”

“My wife and I had kept saying we would make the move but one thing or another prevented us from doing so. Our youngest, a keen footballer, was in Charlton Athletic Youth Academy from the age of nine but when he was released there was nothing holding us back. We’re glad we did it. I love the area; it’s the draw of the harbour, which inspires much of my work.”

Brian produces between 15 or 20 paintings a year although this has increased over the last three months because of forthcoming exhibitions. From August, for three months, his work is being exhibited in Barclays House, Poole and then later in the year he is participating in the Creative Coverage group exhibition at Moors Valley Country Park.

He is influenced by Edward Seago, Rowland Hilder, JMW Turner and Russell Flint, and Leonardo da Vinci.