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Bill Brown

The Abstract One

Defiance Gallery at Mary Place Opening Hours: Wednesday to Saturday 11am to 5pm
Exhibition dates: 24 September - 17 October 2019
Opening: 11am - 2pm, Saturday 21 September 2019
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Bill Brown: The Abstract one 

To fully understand my work, it needs to be seen in the context of a person who has lived a life with Bi-polar disorder, without ever knowing so.

I thought that the consequential soaring heights and devastating lows I lived, were normal. I came to accept this state and that became my reality. It was a fatalist state and riddled with mixed emotions, cross thoughts, chronic doubt, disorder and chaos.

It’s only now that I realise I have never known ‘solid ground’ or ever been able to toe the line with idea or ‘ism’. I now also understand that I have never known much in the way of overview & any stability that comes with it. Progressively my life became one maddening intensity.

Over the last 40 or so years, I have tried to manage & make sense of all this, by accommodating this dualism as parallel worlds, that at times run separately & individually, or sometimes they come together, then disconnect at random moments, or as wilful and anxious intent. Either way, things were always shifting.

To maintain ‘a life’ in each stream I have employed the strategy of ‘form and variation’: which not only allows for an imaginative lateral development of the formal properties of an image, but also enables a deeper penetration into the subjective, the metaphoric, and to the shadow side of the psyche. This way became the avenue to a place of intense ‘innerness’ and a place where I could freshly and intuitively gather any meanings, ideas or directions that arise from what’s going on within the processes of making the work.

In the light of all this, my understanding now, is that when I am in the Abstract stream, I am operating within a trust and a faith that is about a connectedness to history and to the dynamics of form, compositional balance and harmony.
When I am working in the Psychological or Surreal Figurations,
I am cathartically living out the ways of estrangement, dislocation and disbelief.

To finish on a positive note, I’ve recently heard it said -
“that in one’s plight, lies one’s opportunity”.


Bill Brown 2019