Dancing Star Foundation is honored to present its second Guest Artist, Nigel Brown. Nigel is one of New Zealand's most important and provocative contemporary artists. His work reflects a deep and abiding passion for the environment that has stirred hearts and minds throughout the world.
With distinctive style, media, and remarkable juxtapositions of the elements of a culture seemingly at odds with itself, often within a stark historical framework, Nigel captures the critical essence of humanity and its complex niche in the natural world.
Nigel Brown Writes:
My work has been labeled symbolic and expressive. Both are terms I am happy with although both carry the baggage of different times and attitudes; the issues remain similar. However 'Nature' is much more invaded, trampled and flung aside than when Coleridge wrote 'The Ancient Mariner'. In our time David Attenborough persuades us that living creatures are truly amazing while in the meantime they are quietly disappearing.
To be a painter in the twenty-first century is as challenging as ever. The search for ideals and environmental essences is obscured by a fog of monetarianism and techno-vanities, as well as a loss of community. It distracts society from nurture and responsibilities. Many think Capitalist society has all the answers, while others look longingly to Indigenous peoples as imagined sources of sanity and values. We also find plenty of people everywhere motivated to protect nature or to be passionate about it.
As painters in the modernist freedom era that we still inhabit, we can either behave as if nothing is happening, or add voice to at least signify that we observed and questioned.
A painter has their intuitive working process. Mine has always and still is what guides me. Beyond that, the present times feed into what I engage with in the Now or turn to in the past.
My paintings search out simplicities and are directed towards the organic, the natural, the emotive. They are built around intuitive ideas and the poetic. This clashes with the harsh, no-nonsense practicality of the New Zealand vernacular I grew up with and the computerised vapours of endless devices of convenience. Conflict, however, I see as a creative dynamic; the old idea of nothing existing without its opposite. In a series, I may contradict myself in order to explore opposites and dualities which I see as part of a whole picture of existence and its varied forces. Words or text occur often in my work to extend it in conversational ways – not only to state things simply but also to reflect the babbling information overload of Now.
The building blocks of my work are derived from my daily life. In my paintings it appears reassembled on stages derived from actual localities. I tend to exclude much that is not archetypal. My paintings may include couples, male and female energies, family, dogs, birds, hills, the sun and tree ferns. Sometimes I forsake all these to extend and revitalise my vision in new environments, or history, or literature.
Renewal is essential but the subconscious habitually wants to repeat itself. My outlines tend to be strong and often my colour is subdued, or my skies metallic gold. Borders and arches and a block-like hand lettering are typical.
Issues motivate me as an artist. Anti-nuclear and environmental issues are very important in a web of connections. My work takes shape through a combination of its own unique technique and particular points of reference. I want searching, thinking paintings that have a mentality of rough edginess. Nothing more, nothing less.Click on image to enlarge
Dancing Star Foundation is extending its vision by portraying the work of various contemporary artists who dedicate their art to reveal nature and protect the environment.
The Guest Artist Program is proud to host photographer Bob Carmichael whose work stems from a lifelong quest for adventure and experiencing nature through active participation in it.
Bob Carmichael graduated from the University of Colorado. He is a veteran climber, cyclist, skier, sailor and surfer. In the motion picture arena, Bob specializes in commercial, documentary and feature 2nd unit directing and cinematography. He runs a production company called Denali Productions, Inc. He has both an Academy Award nomination and an Emmy Award to his credit as well as having received nominations for Wildlife and Nature from the International Color Awards recognizing excellence in color photography. Bob's website is bobcarmichael.com.
For information on Bob’s work and how to purchase his Landscape Exhibition prints please inquire at firstname.lastname@example.org. Mr. Carmichael will be donating a portion of sales made through this contact to Dancing Star Foundation.
Click on image to enlarge
BOB CARMICHAEL PHOTOGRAPHY