Of Spalted Beasts, a unique exhibition by young South African artist, Eben Rautenbach, opened at The Robson Gallery in Selkirk at the weekend.
Professionally known as LeRoc, Eben began his career as a graffiti artist producing street art and decorating surfboards and skateboards for friends. Later, through family connections, he developed an obsession with pyrography, the ancient art of burning images onto surfaces using a soldering iron.
Now based in the Borders his ‘canvas’ is locally sourced wood and his subject matter the flora and fauna of the countryside around him.
Speaking from his home in Galashiels, Eben said: “This is an extremely time-consuming process with no room for mistakes. Before I start to burn I let the wood create the picture for me. Spalted beech creates valleys, beech turns into sky, sycamore to water and birch becomes a mountain range with each grain, each line playing a role in reincarnating a scene it might once have been part of. This exhibition has been four years in the making and my hope now is that it will inspire others to go out and experience our fantastic countryside.”
Of Spalted Beasts shows in The Robson Gallery, Halliwell’s House Museum, until Sunday 13 July. The gallery is open Saturdays 11am-4pm and Sundays 12noon-3pm. Admission is free and wheelchair access available.