What makes Nigel Brown’s art practice so appealing is his direct and personal articulation of the realities of the human condition. He is profoundly aware of the relationship between human beings and their environment.
Brown has a systematic and workmanlike approach to painting. He works from an initial concept, which is the result of reading and extensive research. Sketches, photographs and other sources are used as a visual back up to develop specifics, leading to works on paper and trial paintings. The artist works from a gesso ground on which he applies a base coat of yellow ochre. The main ideas and words of each work are then sketched in by brush, followed by the initial lines and tones, and the first of five or more layers of paint.
Brown directly and selectively employs history, literature and politics as devices in his artworks. He also uses words in his paintings, a technique that was heavily influenced by the English poet and painter William Blake. At Elam, Colin McCahon suggested that Brown contain his text in a border or boundary, which Brown embraced and continues to use to this day.
Brown has received numerous awards throughout his career including; the QEII Arts Council Grant (1981), Inaugural Artists to Antarctica Award (1998) and in 2004 Brown was awarded the ONZM for services to painting and printmaking.
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