MDF, gesso. 2016
Out of Sight, King Street Station
Aug 4th - 28th 2016
water astonishing and difficult altogether makes a meadow and a stroke, Wil Aballe Art Projects
June 22nd - July 24th 2017
Steel, paint. 2015
Curated by Patryk Stasieczek and Michael Love
Aug 28th - Dec 5th 2015
Text by Patryk Stasieczek
Moving from a sculptural practice into a two-dimensional image, Vanessa Brown presents us with a gestural investigation in the way she builds on her understanding of visual and sculptural planes. In Visitors, we are faced with the monolithic flatness of an image space compounded by the gestural removal of negative space. Substituting a selection tool for a plasma-cutter and a solid colour space for sheet steel, Brown flattens her sculptural practice even further into the photographic plane and presents it at a scale that relates to a sculptural relationship to the body.
Brown highlights the sculptural element that the photographic image can claim in how images present physical space as a composition of planes through a certain forced uni-focal perspective. In generating a work for the Light-Box Project Space, Brown recognizes that the tools of digital photographic software mirror those that she uses when working with sculpture. Brown is compelled to leave traces of the tools she used, keeping the gesture of her unsteady hand recorded uncorrected. She does so overtop a series of images taken from a visit to Waimea Canyon, Kauai, presenting the 6th iteration within the light-box itself. On this island Brown takes an understanding of the landscape from her sculptural practice into the realm of the photographic act. For Brown, the monolithic blue void that blocks our view parallels her removal from the scene and her circumstantial inability to enjoy the serene beauty. Brown considers this simultaneous attraction to and removal from a location parallel to the methodological flow of translating a sculptural practice to one that is located in digital photo collage.
Steel, paint. 2015
Curated by Erik Hood
March 8 – April 5, 2015
Text by Erik Hood
In the Dream Series, Brown’s use of shapes and mark making of steel, create a very particular texture and effect, with a worked or multiple wash process. Multiple coats of oil paint on the surface of steel, deliver a rich feel, combined with brush strokes, as evidence of the hand in the colouration of the surface. The scale of the works in the exhibition are modest in size, seeking out the traditional sculptural ethos, that el dante point, of balance and form. Conscience of teetering on the edge of monumental works from the high modernist era from the 1960’s and 70’s, Brown bends those ideals of industry and display to fulfill her own autobiographical and representational needs. Sketching by making, Brown’s process has no eraser, no undo. Instead of postproduction, Brown has focused, absolute lines unable to be mended or repaired. The finished products have a spark of chance in their creation.
The shapes evoke family crests or coats of arms, scratched into the cover of note books. A relationship to the illustrative or decorative aspects of art making is being worked through. Her aim is not to deliver through the icon, instead leaning on the quality of the line to draw the viewer into initially making connections between the individual figures within each work, then as a whole.
Brown could be seen as a steel butcher, slapping down some small cutlets from a larger industry, composed from the pull of gravity and pressing points. The figures and shapes reveal her escaping allusions; forms appear then recess back into the wall. However she subtracts her figures from the support, a very sharp knife is used.