Vivid artwork at Norwich Castle

Keiron Pim Passionate, vivid and glowing with colour are just a few of the words prompted by Brüer Tidman's painting, and those qualities will be on display at a major display of his work at Norwich Castle.

Keiron Pim

Passionate, vivid and glowing with colour are just a few of the words prompted by Brüer Tidman's painting, and those qualities will be on display at a major display of his work at Norwich Castle.

Tidman is the first of three Norfolk-based artists to have an individual show at the castle in the coming months. His exhibition runs from Saturday September 13 to October 12 and will be followed in the Norfolk Painters 2008 series by John Kiki and Susan Gunn. Work by all artists will be available for purchase.

Fellow Norfolk artist Colin Self will officially launch the season, which is fitting given that he and Tidman are lifelong friends.

“Colin and I both grew up on the same dirt track road in the middle of nowhere in Rackheath,” says Tidman, who lives and works in Yarmouth.

“He went on to the Norwich art college and then the Slade, I went to Yarmouth and then the Royal College of Art, and then we have John Kiki, whose father opened the first Greek restaurant in Yarmouth after the war. John went to Camberwell and the Royal Academy, so between the three of us we are covering the three main art colleges!”

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Tidman's work collected at the Castle spans the early 1990s to the present. Andrew Moore, the castle's senior curator, says: “Brüer Tidman's emotive paintings, grounded in his excellence as a draughtsman and printmaker, are inspired by his life-long interest in the human figure. This show provides a significant opportunity to see paintings from the 1990s as well as recent work, in a focused and in-depth presentation of work on a large scale.

“His sitters are invariably his friends and acquaintances, who are transformed in the studio into glowing colour fields and abstracted forms, which synthesize a series of influences from the great painters of the past with a contemporary excitement.”

Tidman's painting has many admirers but largely hangs in private collections, meaning that this is a rare chance to see around 30 works in one place.

One of the key paintings on show is entitled Beth Offering Her Arm. Created in 1994, it is one of a series of paintings he made of Beth Narborough, who has multiple sclerosis.

In his notes for the gallery's guide to the show, he writes: “Beth has suffered from multiple sclerosis for many years. This painting was made from my impressions of her more or less at the time we first met. At that time she was still able to walk a very short distance when leaning on someone's arm.

“This painting tries to capture the moment that Beth stands up from her wheelchair and offers her arm for support. As with other paintings of Beth I have always endeavoured to portray her beauty at the same time as attempting to capture the insidiousness of this crippling and baffling disease.”

The exhibition charts the development of his painting style, which he sees as having become simpler over the years. His style is expressive and at times dream-like, expressing emotions more than being purely representative.

“I find that things start off objective and I draw what I see, but after a while as I get to know the subject better, I start to draw what I feel,” he told the EDP.

The Tidman, Kiki and Gunn shows are presented alongside the Norwich Castle Open Art Show, which celebrates the huge range of today's creative talent by comprising high quality selected work by artists living in or inspired by Norfolk. The three solo artists will also give one-off lunchtime talks guiding visitors around their shows. Tidman's takes place on September 30 at 12.30pm. The organisers say: “The result is an ambitious series of four exhibitions over four months, which provide an exciting opportunity for visitors to see and purchase the very best painting being made in Norfolk.”

Admission is £3 for a special exhibitions ticket, with concessions £2.60 and children £2.20. Alternatively a full castle ticket, which includes exhibition entry, costs £5.80, or £4.95 concessions, or £4.25 for children. Call 01603 495897 to book.

All the exhibitions have been made possible by the East Anglia Art Fund. Visitors wishing to purchase works from the four exhibitions should call the fund on 01603 493668 or email