Our resident art critic, Joey Hespe, takes you on a tour of the contemporary artists making waves in the industry.
Hold on to your paintbrushes folks, because we've got a hot new female artist on the scene!
Hailing from the Newcastle region of NSW, Australia, Brittany Ferns is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to capturing the beauty of her surroundings. Drawing inspiration from her travels across Mexico and Guatemala in 2022 with her young family, Ferns’ work reflects the vibrant colours, visual symbols and the people of Mexico. Her work is a visual feast for the eyes. Still life scenes, harmonious pastel palettes are contrasted against images of exotic nostalgia – bananas, sombreros, hibiscus and swaying palms.
But, what sets Ferns apart from other artists is her ability to find beauty in the mundane, her attention to her surroundings, and her careful consideration of pigments that reflect emotion. A street vendor selling fruit, a man waiting for food, a woman holding flowers - these everyday moments are transformed into Ferns’ visual stories that come alive through her paintings. Flat planed, cubist faces stare out from the canvas, as if plastered to a street wall or shopfront. It’s from these enigmatic gazes, that the viewer is left wanting more.
So how does she do it? Well, it all starts with creating a unique and textural canvas. She mixes different types of cement materials, oil paint, and acrylic paint. She then sands and chips away at the canvas to reveal layers of texture and colour. It's like watching a beautiful old wall slowly fade and weather away over time.
And speaking of time, that's a central theme in Brittany's work. She believes that the past informs the future, and her paintings reflect that idea. Her figures echo the frescoes of Ancient civilizations like Pompeii, Rome, and Greece, while her use of materials - hand-ground ochres mixed with clays, waxes, mineral dust, and plaster - impose narratives of history and time.
But don't mistake Brittany's love of imperfection as a lack of skill. She is a master at her craft, and her paintings are a testament to that fact. As she says herself, "nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect," and it's that impermanence that makes her work all the more beautiful.
So if you're looking for an artist who can transport you to another time and place, look no further than Brittany Ferns. Her paintings are a window into a world that is both familiar and exotic, and they're sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone who sees them.
Upcoming exhibition at Greenhouse Interiors - 24 March 2023 https://greenhouseinteriors.com.au/collections/brittany-ferns