Creating images has always been a part of Brent’s life. As a toddler, bedroom walls, floors and even his baby brother’s bald head became his canvases. As he grew, this natural creativity expressed itself many ways. In his early years, Brent and his brothers and sisters roamed the nearby fields, forests and the shorelines of Vancouver BC, investigating the world around them; a well known tribe of kids full of energy and imagination. At the earliest age Brent showed a strong interest in the visual; he was always drawing and explaining the world through his art.
In his tenth year, his family moved to Ladner, a small farming and fishing community south of Vancouver. His father had purchased a grocery store business where Brent and his five siblings would work throughout their teenage years. His mother was a talented painter and is father a creative force in his own right. He transformed a ‘food shopping experience’ into pure entertainment and in doing so created a strong retail business. It was a lesson that would serve the young artist well. Everything, at its core, is creative!
Brent loved this new rural life in Ladner. His new friends were duck hunters, muskrat trappers and could tear a car or truck apart and put back together by the time they were twelve. Coming from the city it was wonderful contrast from the urban life he had known. The self-reliant independence the farm life demanded gave him a new confidence and approach to the world. The family grocery store, surrounding neighbours’ farms and tours on Fraser River gill-netters became his playgrounds. Brent was impressed by the rough and tumble world of rural life along with its rhythm and natural beauty.
After grade school, he was sent to a boys’ private school, Vancouver College. There, he was happiest on a football field, in a gym or flying down mountain slopes. “The school was big on the balance of mind and body. Sports, along with academics were important pursuits at Vancouver College. I came close to expulsion more than once but sports saved me”, says Brent. It is this natural physicality and love for the outdoors that would later translate into a passion for painting and drawing directly from life – whether in the life drawing studio or painting outdoors ‘en plein air’. As strictly an academic high school, there was little emphasis on art although Brent became known as an effective graffiti guerrilla and ruthless cartoonist, rendering teachers and administrators without mercy.
Brent was not the most religious youth, but he had an innate fascination with symbol and ritual in the spiritual traditions. Although usually at odds with the Catholic Church, he did appreciate the rich visual and literary traditions. He developed a love for allegory, metaphor, and the power of visual storytelling. During this time, he was exposed to the works of many artists from Chaucer to Kerouac, Durer to Pollock and Dylan to Bach. He was very much aware of the theological influence on popular culture and art – his favourite rock tune of the 60’s being Jimmy Hendrix’s rendition of ‘All Along the Watchtower’ written by Bob Dylan – a song inspired by Revelations and Ecclesiastes. “There was a bringing together or pulling apart, depending on your point of view, of minds and attitudes in the 60’s and 70’s. It was an exciting time to be young and I wasn’t one to miss it”, says Lynch.
After high school. Brent hit the road in the spirit of a typical 70’s vagabond teen. He traveled to Europe and Africa, experiencing new cultures and ways of life and witnessing first-hand the power and vitality of art in society. As a result, his interest in the arts grew. His journey led him back to Vancouver where he attended Vancouver School of Art and Design (later the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design) and Langara College Fine Art Program. Studies brought him back to England where he spent a year at St. Martin’s School of Fine Art studying printmaking, painting and life drawing. It was an exchange week at the Bath School of Fine Arts where Brent came across the ‘Applied Arts Program’ and realized a creative person does not have to starve….and suddenly the art world became a real possibility for him. “I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to study and then work with talented people and to immerse myself in a culture of art”, says Brent. The mid 70’s London was an exciting place to be. It was a turbulent time in the world and London was central as international students came from many countries to live, study and experience.
His journey in art found him painting, drawing and illustrating to earn a living – the beginning of a successful 45-year career in both the commercial and fine arts. His company, Brent Lynch Graphics, became well-known nationally and internationally and Brent earned many prestigious awards for his body of work. Finally in the late 90’s, Brent began to concentrate on his own painting and drawing, Twenty-five years later, his love of the outdoors still draws him to the mountains, water and deserts of his home province of BC and the light-filled landscapes of Mexico and his work is featured in galleries in both countries. (See Representation)
1899 Calgary Olympics official poster