Brenda Moore: Artists Statement
The word frivolity occurred to me in the year 2009 after the loss of my aunt to pancreatic cancer and the diagnosis of my father’s terminal bone cancer that would last another year and a half. Trying to balance it all with my artistic career and life, I was so sick of suffering and wished to have my work engage frivolous subject matter as a coping mechanism. The tragedy was always there as a topic and obvious. I wish for this body of work not to be about cancer but moreover a sense of battle, process of loss and recovery and emptiness as well as filling up: restoring and a renewal towards moving on.
The initial focus of this exhibition was to execute the same image in three different mediums encaustic, drawing, and oil painting with subtle changes in each process. This evolved into more singular works in a variety of mediums resulting in different groupings that strayed from my original intention. Ultimately capturing a more personal introspection of the past two years. Influences came from Scootch the horse I ride, collected materials on horse subject matter, the modellos of Giambattista Tiepolo, drawings of Joseph Beuys and the literary works of Orlando by Virginia Wolf and Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust. The presence of my father Anthony Moore is in many of the works as he taught me how to draw and examine life, experiences around me. He was an artist, teacher and writer throughout his life.
The Pilgrimage of Orlando, A Crazed Girl and The House of Dot are meant to be fictitious commission oil studies for frescoes for my friends and family’s ceilings, walls etc, loosely based on Tiepolo’s modellos. These paintings reference themes of expansive time, memory trigger symbols as a way to travel back in time, the activity of sleep, my ultimate model Scootch and the struggle of being an artist when faced with adversity.
I’m a Superstar Series, features actual vintage photographs of forgotten portraits of seemingly unimportant workhorses and their owners. Attempts were made with color pencil and collage to block out the people in order to give the horses an honorary focus.
Emily and Anmer Installation is meant to lead the viewer along the path of my discovery of a tragic historical event from 1913. A friend gave me a book on horse racing, paging through the minutia of racing photos, I came across this startling image of a collision between the suffragette Emily Wilding Davison and King George V’s race horse Anmer at the 1913 Epsom Derby in England. The horse and jockey survived, the suffragette was fatally injured. This tiny image was odd, the asymmetry of the two figures interesting and the subject ideal to my recurrent theme of horses and women. Further research online led me to discover video footage, which aided me in delving deeper into this work.
The Moore Armada pays homage to my father. At center is the HMS Bounty ship model he built by hand. The model is surrounded by drawings he made in his youth as well as some of my own (gifts to him) and a “draw off” contest we had in 2010.
Central to the work in this exhibit is my obsession for drawing and my desire to improve on rendering horse anatomy as well as the task of painting.