Brian Freake

Brian Freake wanders the hilly rocky land and thick brush of Fogo Island searching for downed tree trunks and branches, until he finds the right ones. He carries them back to his shed, located between the Atlantic Ocean and Main St. in the community of Fogo. There he works his magic by creating walking sticks with bird heads and fox heads, snakes as long as 17 feet, all painted in bright colors and complex patterns.

Brian Freake is a self-taught artist, whose work can be described as “outsider art” which has its roots and traditions in communities far from the influence of mainstream art and culture centres. His work is whimsical, highly detailed, and has a sense of mystical connection to the land and story-telling world of Fogo Island. 

Born on Fogo Island in 1957, his family roots go back hundreds of years on the Island. For most of his adult life, he worked at the Fogo Island Co-Op Fish Plant, recently retiring. 

Brian Freake, Bird With Red Bill Walking Stick, circa 2010's

Brian Freake, Bird with red bill, Walking Stick, circa 2010’s, found wood, paint, approx 36″ tall

Selected Works


Group Exhibition

the things that we love tell us what we are.

October 5 – November 13, 2022

Group Exhibition


Claudia Brahms, Brian Freake, Erin Hunt, M’Liz Keefe, Nelson White, Jessica Winters

July 14 – August 14 2022