This is an unusual piece, but actually quite typical of the work of Colin Brown. 'The Flood' certainly lives up to its name with a myriad of happenings in the picture - it most definitely floods the senses and can take a moment to absorb everything in the painting. This is the kind of image that one could spend hours looking at, discovering and interpreting new things about it.
Colin likes to work spontaneously and begins with no idea in mind of what the finished product will be, so his work can be sporadic and complicated. He builds layers upon layers, as can be seen from this image where he applies multiple layers in various types of media. He has experimented with collage and paint in this piece and has used subtle marks to obscure or enhance certain parts. He claims his work reflects societal and cultural transformations, whilst also leaving the image very open to the viewer.
There appears to be a house, in the centre of all the hustle and bustle, with smoke coming from a chimney, and it is surrounded by seemingly unconnected things. Perhaps this shows the modern home, a home which is traditionally sacred, surrounded by everything happening in society now; war, poverty, extreme wealth, drugs, religion, relationships and boundaries. It could also be feasible that the house is surrounded by a garden with different elements in each space. Typically the artist uses the bright, vibrant colours to lure and entice the viewer, leaving one to ponder upon the meaning. There is an underlying sense of struggle, suggesting this mixed media piece was painstakingly hand-made and that the message in this work is of personal significance to the artist.
Colin has a very spontaneous style when it comes to his work, as he claims he begins a piece without any preconceived idea of what the outcome will be, or any clear direction at all. He builds layer upon layer, until a direction evolves and communication is established between himself and the work. Throughout this process the piece is constantly re-assessed for rhythm, balance and structure until it is finished. Media used throughout his work include a variety of materials such as multiple types of paint, varnishes and multi-layered collage. Recent work of the Dundee-born artist involves bringing together fragmentation in a controlled and harmonious way, which is very open to interpretation, but the basis lies in his impression of current society. The pieces involve mark making and symbolic stimuli which intrigue and influence the viewer, and are painted onto large wooden panels. Brown also presents more urban and modern colours, than that of those found in nature.
Dundee artist, Colin Brown, was born in 1962 and studied at the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art from 1982 till 1987. He graduated with a BA Honours Degree in Fine Art and a post graduate Diploma in Fine Art. He has spent his career pursuing his personal projects and presenting at exhibitions and currently resides in Stonehaven in Scotland. His work is also held in multiple private collections all over Europe, including Scotland. Colin Brown has been presented with many awards for his work, most notably the John Ross Scholarship from the Royal Scottish Academy and the Aberdeen Visual Arts award.
Colin Brown's website
With thanks to the Union Gallery for artist information