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Donna Brennan: Flower Power

Exhibition  /  08 Jun 2013  -  28 Jun 2013
Published: 06.06.2013
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© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.

Intro
London based Australian artist Donna Brennan has developed an innovative use of photo-chromic technology to transform beautifully sculptural, white pieces of jewellery into a burst of shimmering colour - and back again.

Artist list

Donna Brennan
London based Australian artist Donna Brennan has developed an innovative use of photo-chromic technology to transform beautifully sculptural, white pieces of jewellery into a burst of shimmering colour -and back again. Pieces from her new “Flower Power” collection, which use this technique, can be seen in her 1st solo exhibition in the USA at Jewelers’ Werk Galerie, Washington DC from 8 - 28 June, 2013.

The collection comprises up-cycled vintage costume Flower Power jewellery, sourced from the USA, juxtaposed with dried lotus flowers. The pieces are then lacquered white. However, an invisible coating of photo-chromic light-sensitive paint, activated by the sun, transforms the pieces from blank white to an arresting interplay of painterly colour and light when the jewellery is worn in sunlight. Brennan thus offers ever-changing pieces that play with mystery and the inherent qualities of light.

As the title suggests, the work explores the power of flowers, and their relationship with light. Lotus flowers open and turn towards the sunlight during the day and close at night, and they are both a Hindu and ancient Egyptian symbol of the Sun God. Their power also resides in their strong medicinal properties and they are believed to possess ecstatic, mind altering potencies. “Flower Power” explores the powerfully colourful, yet invisible, relationship which exists in nature between flowers, insects and UV light. UV light reveals colours and patterns on flowers which are invisible to the human eye, however bees and insects use a broader spectrum of light to see and are therefore attracted to the source of pollen and nectar via the “invisible” colours and patterns. In the work, painterly, revealed and concealed layers of colour are applied to the flowers, however, the petals also have an invisible, concealed coating of photo-chromic light-sensitive paint overlaid with light reflector beads, which, when activated by UV light & the sun, transforms the pieces from white to an arresting interplay of radiant colour and light.

Brennan’s previous photo-chromic collection “The Blank Canvas”, was derived from from Robert Rauschenberg’s statement that “A canvas is never empty”. Brennan explored that statement from the understanding that white (blank) reflects and contains all other colours within it, which she has extended into a ‘revealed and concealed’ aesthetic in “Flower Power”. Brennan’s work plays with powerful mystery – for we only ever see part of the picture, and the inherent qualities of light, for jewellery has traditionally been a beacon for the interplay of colour and light.

"Flower Power” has just been shown at the Saatchi Gallery, London, in this year’s “Collect” show from 10 – 13 May 2013, and recently in “Frame” as part of Schmuck, at the New Munich Trade Fair, 6 – 12 March 2013, and was represented by Galerie Marzee. Her piece “UV Necklace”, using this technique, forms the permanent collection of The Museum of Contemporary Art (SM’s) in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands as part of the “Chi ha Paura ... ?” collection, “Body Stories”, and was commissioned by Gijs Bakker.

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About the artist

Donna Brennan is a London-based artist/lecturer/curator, represented by Jewelers’ Werk Galerie, Washington D.C., Galerie Marzee in The Netherlands, & the C.A.A. Gallery in London. Her numerous international solo exhibitions include the Museum of Decorative Art in Dresden, Germany, and Galerie Marzee. She has participated internationally in group exhibitions including Museum of Decorative Art in Cologne, Germany, Norton Museum, West Palm Beach, Florida, & the Kunstmuseum im Ehrenhof, Duesseldorf, Germany. For the latter she also co-curated the exhibition, produced a catalogue and organised a symposium. Brennan’s work sits in the collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art (SM’s) ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands, and the prestigious Alice & Louis Koch Collection, Switzerland among others. She has also received an Australia Council Award for the Arts.

Remarks

Opening reception to meet the artist Saturday June 8th 1-4 PM

Open hours:

Mon - Sat 11 - 6
Sun 12 - 5
Donna Brennan. Piece: FLOWER POWER (left: Without sun activation - right: With sun activation), 2012. Vintage 1960‘s Costume brooch & earrings, Lotus flowers, UV photochromic glaze, light reflector beads, enamel paint. Donna Brennan
Piece: FLOWER POWER (left: Without sun activation - right: With sun activation), 2012
Vintage 1960‘s Costume brooch & earrings, Lotus flowers, UV photochromic glaze, light reflector beads, enamel paint
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
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