‘The Tranquility that Fires Requires: The Work of Julian Brown’ By Cherry Smyth

‘…a heavenly body lands over a field of irises.  It lacks the tranquility that fire requires, although some other form of stillness may coexist with this openness. Unfamiliar forms circulate at odd hours.  Does immateriality have to be an obstacle?’  (1)

In Sea, artist and poet Etel Adnan tranverses the inner and outer worlds,and considers outer space and our quest to find an earth-like environment beyond this one, as if this reality could be fully known. Julian Brown also mines that seamof consciousness between worlds, contemplating the similarities between the space within and universal space; and the archetypal echoes between shapes in the natural world.  His work in‘Future Islands’ can be divided into roughly four stages or iterations that may appear disparate but overlap discreetly with each other.  As Brown suggests, ‘The work is like a garden with different flowers that speak to each other.  They co-exist rather than stand in separate sequences.’ (2) READ FULL ESSAY

'Touch' By Professor Brandon Taylor

 ‘Every body that has soul in it must, as we have said, be capable of touch’. It was Aristotle’s further contention in the De Anima that touch is the only sense that a conscious creature must have in order to be. The other senses, said the Stagirite, namely sight, hearing, taste and smell, are necessary ‘not for being but for well-being’. Contemporary painting finds itself in agreement with these priorities in making perception a specialised version of touch, and touch the foundation for what is seen.

To look at Jules Brown’s new paintings, one gets an idea of what he means in calling some of them ‘manicured’. They are fastidiously presented; but that is not the only quality you see in the high-colour striations that Serso, for example, is an instance of. There is no intelligent regard for such works that does not ask questions about the calculations that gave rise to them. READ FULL ESSAY

'Future Islands' Julian Brown Works on Paper By Andrew Parkinson

There is something at the same time ancient and contemporary in the abstract watercolours of Julian Brown. The centuries old practice of painting is often considered today to be outmoded and abstraction is no longer fashionable, having been overtaken by high resolution digital imagery both in the contemporary art scene and in wider society.

Yet, when digital representation is ubiquitous, analogue processes like making and viewing abstract paintings becomes even more interesting and engaging, not in the sense of an escape from the digital but more as a correction of its technological purposiveness, and perhaps a nod towards alternative futures. READ FULL ESSAY

'A Sense of Wonder' By Robert Priseman

The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.
W.B. Yeats

On display in the National Gallery of London is an intimate painting whichmeasures only 44.5 x 45.8 cm. It was produced between the years 1307-11 by the 14th century Italian artist Duccio and is titled The Annunciation. This beautiful masterpiece depicts the moment when the Archangel Gabriel descended from heaven to reveal to the VirginMary that she would give birth to the son of God.

As with all great art, every aspect of Duccio’s painting is the result of a deliberate consideration by the artist. It synthesises a series of ideas into a single coherent object which represents a universal vision as he saw it. In order to achieve this Duccio has employed a number of signifiers which include placing a copy of the Old Testament in to Mary’s left hand. This she holds open at the pages the prophet Isaiah wrote which predict the event we witness. Standing between Mary and Gabriel we also notice a vase of white lilies which allude to her purity, whilst hovering overhead a white dove represents the Holy Spirit. In the background we see gold leaf instead of paint which symbolises the glory of heaven whilst we also observe how the Virgin Mary is dressed in blue robes.This blue is Lapis lazuli,a pigment so expensive, it cost more than gold and provides testament to Mary’s importance in the painting. READ FULL ESSAY

'A Fairytale of Gdansk' Personal Statement for the John Moores Painting Prize

My mind meanders to a scene from my childhood home of a humblelandscape painting made by my mother shortly after she fled Poland around thetime of the Warsaw uprising.