Photo: Orlanda Broom in London

Orlanda Broom


Orlanda Broom’s paintings are lush and colourful... these landscapes exist as part of a fantastical, re-imagined place and as an amalgamation of references to the history of landscape painting. Broom takes influences from an eclectic mix of artists who have sought to relate the experience of seeing and being in the landscape or to represent it objectively, whether for scientific purpose, such as botanical artists might have recorded flora and fauna, or just to document what is there. Chinese landscape painting and Japanese print-makers are an area of particular interest and inspiration to Broom. The beauty and seeming simplicity of the depicted landscape, so familiar yet ancient and imbued with history (due to its long heritage), is what captures the imagination but firmly sets the viewer in a cultural and geographic context. The depiction of familiar imagery that makes up a visual narrative in the work of female Surrealists is an important reference in Broom’s sensibility. Often depicting organic forms that may be peculiarly out of context or fetishized, Surrealists built their own symbolic language. The shapes and marks that occur repetitively in Broom’s paintings suggest a similar reliance on symbolism. There is a correlation between the Surrealist’s interest in dreams and the work of Henri Rousseau who described his paintings as entering a dream world. His paintings and the exotic world he inhabits have influence the layered quality of Broom’s paintings. There is an aesthetic, ordered density to Rousseau’s work and an unsettling yet alluring quality to the painters subject matter. They are dreamlike and mysterious but also engagingly humorous. Artists who paint the landscape have historically beautified and edited the scene to fit their vision, or the accepted collective ideal of what is beautiful. It is hard to comprehend that Turner's painting were at one point considered ugly and shocking. Artists who have travelled and create art based on experiences of new places, such as Gauguin, bring together a vision that feeds our understanding the world. The fevered interest in art from around the world is a long-standing tradition. Broom is fascinated by the obsession with oriental decorative arts and the consequent interpretations in a European context, such as Chinoiserie. Her work also borrows and references multi-cultural influences and is hard to geographically pin down. Broom has applied a hyper, rose-tinted view of the world to her landscapes, in an ecstatic culmination of references. Broom’s vision is of a place and time untouched. It is wild, rampant and ripe almost to the point of rotten. The surface joyousness is tempered by an uneasy sense of abandonment. These paintings are themselves fetishized; the layered resin has an extreme high gloss finish, akin to stained glass and similarly the paintings are abundant with light-giving colour. read full statement

Location London
Artforms Mixed Media, Painting

News & Events

  • Diamond Bullet - Exhibition at James Freeman Gallery

    01/05/2014 – 31/05/2014
    James Freeman Gallery

    Three person show of British Artists who's work explores the jungle of the mind. Artists Simon Burton, Orlanda Broom & Irene Godfrey.

    Find out more

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