Artist Focus: Judith Brenner
Judith Brenner is an incredible artist, who graduated with a BA in Fine Art from Manchester Metropolitan University in the 1980s. I’ve been fortunate to see her work evolve over the two years that I’ve known her, and her paintings always fill me with emotion. Expressive and full of energy that isn’t always conveyed clearly, this is an artist who uses her emotions from her life journey to create unique and thoughtful art.
My current favourites are on her studio wall behind me, blue – lots of blue in fact – but with intermittent flashes of other colours; this is an artist who is emotionally expressive, sometimes it would seem quite darkly so, but yet silently she is very optimistic – I believe anyone that uses pink in their work must be an optimist at heart!
Judith uses mixed media in her paintings, and has been known to spray paint over some tattered lace to add texture. She also adds collage into her work too. Judith’s paintings are a real exploration of her emotions.
I took the liberty of throwing some questions at her about her process:
Me: Why do you paint?
Judith: For the satisfaction of when something happens that I control, but yet don’t.
Me: Why is it important to have something you can control?
Judith: Life is a Pressure cooker, if it doesn’t come out it gets internalised. And that’s not good. In a way, painting is self indulgent.
Me: But your paintings are a way of expressing what you’re dealing with.
Judith: I think they’re quite honest, they’re about finding light at the end of all the shit. The landscapes are about travelling through space, that they’re the same as working through a problem. I had a big black mountain always in front of me, holding me back. That’s now gone, but I sometimes feel I’m moving in circles. Circles are appearing a lot in my work recently, as it’s terrifying, but at the same time it makes me stronger. I feel that I need to paint as it is so hard to express my feelings in words. Is that self indulgent?
Me: Self indulgent? No. But I love that where some have word vomit, you need to paint vomit!
And she does. As part of her working process, Judith places her canvases on the floor to create her pieces. She then uses a variety of media to achieve what she’s feeling.. She is expressive, energetic, and contained emotionally within her work. When you look at the two large pieces currently in situ at ?? you have the feeling that they’re familiar. You’ve seen them somewhere. And yet, this only really applies if you happen to know Judith. It is then that you realise, and really appreciate, what you’re looking at.