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Julie Brook Pigment Exhibition - Ikon Art Gallery

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by Alison Brinkworth (subscribe)
Freelance journalist in Birmingham with a passion for the dynamic theatre, art, food and fashion scene in Britain's 'Second City'.
Event: -
African Inspired Art At Ikon Gallery
Work by rising British artist Julie Brook is to go on display in a free exhibition at Birmingham's acclaimed Ikon Gallery.

Julie Brook, artist, Pigment, Ikon Gallery
Julie Brook's video Pigment will be on display at Birmingham's Ikon Gallery


Pigment - Brook's 2013 film shot in a cave in Namibia - will be on view in the gallery's Tower Room from July 22 to September 27.

The work was the outcome of the artist's unexpected meeting with three Himba women in Otjize, NW Namibia, who invited Brook to collect red pigment with them.

Traditionally crushed and mixed with animal fat and aromatic herbs this pigment is used by the Himba to rub onto their skin. Brook uses the same technique to grind the pigment, but uses it dry to make drawings.

An Ikon Gallery spokewoman said: "The strength and confidence of the physical activity involved and the sheer beauty of the dusty russet atmosphere, illuminated by shafts of golden sunlight, make it absolutely compelling.

Brook is an artist drawn to wild and remote landscape, often making outdoor sculptural interventions and film works. These take inspiration from the spirit and actuality of their location - be it the Orkney islands, the Hebrides or the Libyan desert - and are thus expressive of personal experience.2

Brook was shortlisted for the Daiwa Foundation Art Prize 2015 and her work was on view at the Daiwa Foundation Japan House Gallery in London during June and July this year.

She will also be part of a BBC documentary about Land Art being filmed in the autumn, where she will make new work in Scotland.

Speaking about her work, Brook said: "When I'm asked about the language of my work, I see it as both a response to my environment, and the expression of the environment's effect on me.

"It's a process, a rhythm which I initiate, but as it gets more involved, it too begins to dictate terms. And I must find a formal language that can express this. Solitude is the heart of the matter. It gives me a sense of inhabiting the landscape."

Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, art
Free exhibitions at the acclaimed Ikon Gallery in Birmingham feature cutting-edge artwork


Brook is set to have future exhibitions next year at the National Art Gallery of Namibia, Windhoek, and at An Lanntair, Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. The artist is also planning to lead a two year visual arts educational project with primary school children in Skye and Uist.

Previous solo exhibitions include made,unmade (Burgh Hall, Dunoon; Little Buckland Gallery, Broadway, Gloucestershire (2014); and Dovecot Studios, Edinburgh; Wapping Project, London; Bonhoga Gallery, Shetland (2013).

Julie Brook - Pigment
Ikon Gallery
Oozells St
Birmingham city centre, B1 2HS
22 July – 27 September 2015
https://ikon-gallery.org/event/julie-brook/
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Why? See cutting edge artwork in Birmingham
When: July 22 - September 27, 2015
Phone: 0121 248 0708
Where: Ikon Gallery
Cost: Free
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