A Condition of Complete Simplicity (Costing Not Less Than Everything)
On display from April 1 – April 30, 2022
Artist’s Statement |
This body of work is a continuation of a series started a few years ago called “The Peace Process”. I have been greatly influenced and inspired by the work of TS Eliot, in particular, “The Four Quartets”. All titles of the works for this show at Sunbury Shores Arts and Nature Centre come from this work of poetry, including the show title “A condition of complete simplicity (Costing not less than everything).
I feel the need to constantly reassess my reasons for making art. My mantra for years has been “the outward expression of the inward life”. Things happen in my world/our world and we are invited to allow change and growth in our inward lives. Lately, the influencing events requiring these changes have become overwhelming! Covid-19, mass shootings in Nova Scotia, Black Lives Matter, Residential school graves- and most recently, the invasion of Ukraine.
I have had to force myself to learn to paint intuitively, to allow colours and moods to flow from within; to be in touch with that inward life so affected by all things around me. I am learning to savour the small, beautiful things of life at the very same time as I am wrestling through the terrors I see around me.
“The essential thing is to work in a state of mind that approaches prayer.” -Henri Matisse
There seems to be continuing in my work the idea of finding light in the darkness; of beauty that helps me find my way. Horizon lines to me are a metaphor for the interface between this reality and another; perhaps also between the physical and the spiritual. The gold leaf highlights represent how precious and hard-won are our gains and growth as we move through this life.
Artist’s Biography |
Judith Brannen has lived on the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia since 1974. She grew up in New Brunswick and graduated from the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design with a Major in Weaving and a Minor in Pottery. While raising their family, she and her husband John worked as craftsmen from a studio they built next to their ancient Acadian home in West Chezzetcook. In the mid-nineties, Judith began painting, mostly in watercolour. More recently, she has been painting in oil with gold leaf embellishment. From 2004 to 2006 she studied theology at St. Stephen’s University. She sat on the Board of Governors of SSU for 8 years and also on the Board of Visual Arts Nova Scotia for 6 years.