karen brighton at work

Karen Brighton at work




karen brighton at workKaren Brighton at work

Karen Brighton MA

Artist Statement
The original ideas for my paintings came after a busy period of working in London (and visiting New York), and being involved in city life. I loved watching the crowds in the city streets. My view is as if through the lens of a camera compressing the image as a way of understanding something very contemporary about the visual world. Groups of figures play on the eye forming rhythmical patterns of movement.

Figures stand out from the darkness, still recognisable but sometimes barely discernible. I often view from above, studying images through glass and rain, exploring the legibility of the image degraded by distortion. As the anonymous humanity is penetrated it yields more fragments of knowledge about isolated individuals and groups of figures form rhythmical patterns. By abstracting the image, the actual marks taken separately look undistinguishable, but collectively because of their relationship to each other, are recognisable as being figurative.

I have been influenced by scenes from the past and everyday life – crowds waiting for a train, queues at the cinema, footage from old films, the camera at war and events through the centuries. Images which can be bustling and claustrophobic, yet sometimes threatening and brooding.

With the use of colour I have tried to reflect the reality of city images; often very little colour, it could be winter on the city streets in some paintings, or early morning sunlight in others. I use oil and mixed media, often applying the paint with rags, working the paint across the canvas, scratching and rubbing into it, leaving surface traces of physical movement and energy.


Artists/poets who have been interested in the freedom in the city and in the anonymity of the crowd. Hamilton, Beckmann, Lowry and Baudelaire, the French art critic and poet who said, "the modern artist should set up his house amidst the ebb and flow of the metropolitan crowd, to become one with the crowd as though it were an immense reservoir of electrical energy".


December 2017