I was born in East London, and apart from when I lived in Rome for two years, I have spent all of my working life in London.
My work is influenced and directed by personal experiences and my desire to use the imagination. I am interested in the exploration of the creative process, in synthesis and transformation in the development of any image. On recent reflection, I realised when younger I was inspired by sublime experiences, and this sense of revelation is an important part of my working process. I further realised that those experiences were not so apparently available as one matured; life’s more prosaic happenings crowd in.
In my earlier paintings, I investigated what I recognised as indomitable myths, entitled Golgotha, Calvary and Redemption. In others moral propositions are addressed. In one entitled Duplicity, the brutalising of misuse of power and the subsequent downward spiral of events, damaging perpetrator and victims, is the subject.
I wish to build into my work what could be called an objective sense of compulsion, not picture making as a cathartic act, but as a compulsive one.
“The thread running through Brunell’s work is autobiography, or rather autobiography plus the voice of the Other. The philosopher Dilthey proposed that the only valid history is biography and argued that it should be written by its own protagonist, as autobiography. Freud showed that even self-disclosure need not include unconscious aspects of the psyche. In this last sense autobiographical, psychobiographical, painting thus becomes an encounter between unconscious ‘Other’ and the artist’s ‘Self’. Not an a priori self but the amalgam of discourses held together on a day-to-day basis by the responsibilities and contingencies of life”
(Byrne, Peter, "Subjectivity : A Clue of Thread." Review. Nov. 1995)
In September 1997 my wife was diagnosed with cancer. She fought the illness bravely for seven years, the last two in a hospice. The cancer brought a halt to my creative practise. I was unable to work as an artist.
In 2005, I became a sole parent nurturing my daughters, then aged sixteen and twelve.
In 2013, After sixteen years of no personal creative productivity, I started to pick the threads of my imaginative life and started painting.
Recent paintings have been the reworking of previous themes with additional topics such as drinking, loss, identity, and becoming invisible; all part of the maturing experience.
Eventually this website will be expanded to include a record of all my creative output and an expanded academic section with publications.
2014 Geoffrey Brunell