Monday, August 17, 2009

The Studio of Brigen Gresh

Brigen is working on a series of abstract paintings called the aftermath. This series explores and deals with the stages of grieving. Each piece begins with a set understanding and she then searches for new ways to convey sensations. Although the work is not illustrative, she does extensive research before she starts painting. For instance she has a whole series of photos she shot of people who are or have been grieving.
Her first series of 12 paintings was more personal and dealt with her relationship with her mom. Each painting offers her new ways to learn about herself. She conveys sensations using line and form. She keeps the inner meaning subtle enough so it creeps on a viewer and then moves them. Her work is light, subtle and delicate with multiple layers of glazes plaster and meaning. She presses door hinges into the plaster as a way abstractly reconnect to the feelings she had when all the doors were removed in her home to allow her sick mother to move from room to room in her wheel chair.
Recent research sent her to a cemetery in Fossil Springs Florida. There she found full body sized grave stones all painted with silver leaf. The stones were lying on the ground side by side with no dates or names indicated. A whole family was lined up together. The heads of the stones were curved and the sight was beautiful and unnerving.
Brigen hopes to fill in the gaps in the development of characters that her work represents. The work is personal yest she still has to edit and remove things that might make the work to personal. Her studio is located in her garage. In this sketch you can see the garage door which her panels are leaning up against. She hasn't insulated the space or set it up with air conditioning so in the summer months the heat becomes brutal. I was sweating up a storm by the time I finished this sketch.
Box springs and a strange plaster figure were hanging from the rafters. Tiny halogen lights illuminated her panels. From here I was heading down to the Shakespeare Theater to see the final showing of the War of the Worlds so I bought my suit and tie to change into. I changed in Brigen's bathroom and headed out to the show.

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