Artwork by David Mackie Cook
David Mackie Cook CLOSEOPEN

David Mackie Cook was born in 1957 in Dunfermline, Scotland and trained at Duncan of Jordanstone School of Art in Dundee under Alberto Morrocco and David McClure.  Since graduating, he has followed his own path of visionary works which has won him a number of awards including the Guthrie Award at the Royal Scottish Academy in 1982.


He was recognized early as an exceptional talent winning first prize at the Royal Scottish Academy Annual Student Exhibition in 1983. He then won a travel award which took him to Paris, Amsterdam, Belgium and Cyprus. He won the Guthrie Award at the RSA in 1985 and was given Scottish Arts Council Awards in 1985, 1988 and 1989. He has exhibited irregularly, but notably, at The Traverse Theatre in 1982 and with the 369 Gallery throughout the following decade.


In the 1990s he was already visiting Seagreens (his current home) and staying at a cottage at Benholm, two miles to the North, also frequented by Alberto Morocco and Ian Eadie. Cook travelled regularly in these years to Turkey, the Balearics and significantly, at the invitation of the Everard Reed Gallery, to Southern Africa for three months in 1997.


He was able to secure the tenancy at Seagreens shortly after his return and eventually bought it in 2004. Living in an isolated hamlet by empty grasslands on the edge of the North Sea, he uses his environment as both the inspiration and the fabric of his work. This sense of belonging is now deeply embedded; he can see the seasons change and paint the whole calendar; the daffodils of Spring, wild flowers of Summer, the Autumn skies and bleak drama of Winter are all in this show: immediate, raw and compelling.


Defined as an ‘art brut’ painter, he has transformed the ruined remains of a fisherman’s hamlet into a garden of figures and creatures, carving driftwood and fusing cement and fragments of crockery.


David has worked with Fraser Gallery for many, many years and shows in a number of key galleries across the UK and overseas. He has had successful shows at the Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh in 2009 and again in 2017.