Angela Brennan, Lounging in the doorways of two worlds
An exhibition of work by MADA PhD candidate Angela Brennan.
Lounging in the doorways of two worlds - Nothing fancy. The works presented in my graduation exhibition are snippets, details, and forms. The forms have detached from other forms; a nimbus, a circle, a stance, an echinus cup-shape. To borrow from Samuel Beckett the work “proves nothing but there is nothing I wish to prove.” This sentiment underpins my thesis, A Painter’s Encounter with Pre-modern Artworks as Influences for a Contemporary Studio Practice.
These works are mute. Exegetical disclosure is eschewed, but shadows of the method and inspiration for the paintings, drawings and ceramics haunt the titles: Across the page the other way. Understanding not explaining. The depiction of the toes and petals suggest they are part of a larger biological system. The only tangible things left were the objects made by the human hand. The names of the colours are as beautiful as the colours themselves and sometimes are the motivation to squeeze them out of the tube to paint. A portrait of Friedrich Nietzsche as an angel. The anxiety of painting.
The discipline of the artist focuses on the experience of making, which in my case connects deeply with face-to-face encounters with pre-modern artworks. These artworks exhibit characteristics that resonate with my studio practice. In my thesis, I draw on recent theories of temporality concerning visual representation. I attend to form and its vitalistic capacities, as well as to the spatial context of the pre-modern artworks' situations. This is not an art historical journey but an artist’s experience of artworks from history —their energies, their force, their wonderment.