Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Kissed by Brandy Saturley

When I first looked at this painting by Brandy Saturley, I found myself wondering…”What's the title?” “What’s going on here.”   There are so many elements floating around in this painting that it challenges the imagination to create some kind or order to it all, and I wondered if the title would help me.

And, sure enough, its title “Kissed” seemed to  give me an intellectual grounding. It's a playful work. It reminds me, of the dreamlike quality of a Pre Raphaelite “Ophelia”.

The naked woman, lies in a fetal  position within an open sea shell.

 Brandy teases us with a variety of symbolic images: eggs within her head which suggest inherent reproductive qualities – possibly within her thoughts, or deep inner drives.

 She surrounds the young woman with a sleeping fawn, a white flower - possibly a sacred datura,  a snail, and a dead bird. She completes the scene with a feather and a skeletal  hand.   I won’t attempt to extricate the depths of meaning from these symbols. For the reality is  I have no idea what Brandy is saying. She invites me to walk down her pathway…but I  don’t know where she is leading me.

The painting is done beneath a fretwork border, and this gives it Euro cultural overtones as if I could expect that the drama could be played out within richly decorated homes.

In some ways I am reminded of contemporary native artwork where lines and symbols intertwine and flow through the works and nature and human life are woven together in a marvelously interconnective manner.  But, try as you might…the meaning, is lost in the depth of dream, and mythology.  Its rather shamanistic in this sense.

The ultimate tease for me is seen in the bottom of the work. Is it a foot in a slipper?  If this be the case, Brandy provides a contrast which reminds us how tiny the sleeping woman is.

This is a work which is more about questions then answers.  We see an explorative artist at work. An artist who provokes our thoughts .  Brandy  kisses us and sets us free to dream.


What a fascinating review of my work ‘Kissed’, thank you for sharing your view.

I have always felt that the once the work leaves my hands it takes on a life of it’s own in the viewers mind and that the viewer adds their experience to the piece, which gives it completion.

My work has been described as both playful and sensual and I suppose that is fitting as I feel like a young child in an adult’s body.

Much of my work is based in dream and I paint while listening to music. I have always loved the dreamy and surreal lyrics of The Beatles or the compositions of Pink Floyd, set against a backdrop of a Mozart sonata and I am sure that this plays into my work.

The symbols in this piece were derived from the work of Georgia O’ Keeffe, one of my favorite painters, not just for her style of abstract imagery, but her personality and character.

The original title of the piece was going to be ‘Kissed by Georgia’ as if, in some way, signifying her affect on me and my work, but I shortened it to ‘Kissed’ referring to her hand lightly grazing my shoulder, like a kiss.
I have painted several pieces that speak on dreaming and influences of music and other artists in my work, ‘Somewhere Between M&M and the Walrus’ seen here is another of these pieces. . (please click)

It is interesting that you see some connection to contemporary native works, I have seen this appearing in my work as well over the years, I suppose it is the influence of the vibrant First Nations culture that surrounds me and was a large part of my childhood. Growing up in a small fishing community on the West Coast of Canada, and attending school with many First Nations children, I spent much time in friends homes on the reserves, as well as at the Royal BC Museum where there is a spectacular collection of First Nations art including The Haida, The Coast Salish and the Nuu-chah-nulth peoples.

Many dreams and realizations still await.

To view this and other of Brandy's works, please click here
And, click here to see Brandy's work in her Victoria International Airport showing. And here for her work  at the Three Degrees of Separation showing in the Showroom Gallery. And here for her showing in the Edge Gallery in Canmore, Alberta.

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