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An uninhibited sense of play allows Ken Brinsmead's images to dance unbridled from paintbrush to canvas. The sincerity of his intentions brings Brinsmead's paintings alive in a whirlwind of spontaneity.
When an artist paints because he or she loves to paint, the work becomes a celebration of the process. The process in turn frees the artist from the bondage of theories, issues and the 'meanings' of art.
Using experience as his palette of colours and his desire to express as his brush, Brinsmead lets the paint itself form the picture. He is free to indulge in the process of creating with an emphasis on resolving aesthetic problems. Brinsmead simplifies form and stretches his ideas to reach an unlimited realm of expression which remains untouched by the restrictions of a movement or ideal.
Brinsmead need look no further than his immediate surrounds for his subject matter. His paintings are a reflection of his life, and in this way, his work is a perfect vehicle of expression.
Brinsmead's imagery is dominated by both the female form and depictions of his dog. The voluptuous women in his Pink Lady series almost fill the entire picture plane. Their forms are distorted: their appendages grotesquely disproportioned. These women become adorned with, and illuminated by, vivid colour. Hot pinks, oranges, yellow and sea blue delight in their sharp contrast and unusual harmony. Yet strangely, these organic forms, which appear to grow out of the canvas in a playful humour evoke a bizarre, sensual repose.
Brinsmead's Dog series reveals a very natural and uncomplicated portrayal of the dog. It dances from one canvas to the next, toying with the idea of being the centre of attention. Unconsciously, the dog has become a symbol of that freedom which Brinsmead acknowledges in himself.
In indulging in the freedom of self-expression, Brinsmead does not hide behind the security of a style, or label himself in the hope of anonymity. He is not concerned with preaching the 'great message' to the masses. His work is completely open to individual interpretation. The viewer is given the freedom to absorb exactly what he or she wants. "My work is pure self expression ... " says Brinsmead, "If people want to read meanings into my work – fine. Just as I am free to paint, so too are others free to interpret."
If the intention of the work is pure, there is no need to justify that intention: one can maintain a state of equilibrium. So many artists try to hitch a ride on the contemporary art bandwagon and renounce their identity in the hope of acceptance and recognition. Brinsmead however states that as an artist your work is no different from yourself and you are no different from your work and in making this claim he invokes two admirable qualities: honesty and integrity.