BRONWYN RENNEX Director, Stills Gallery
“Jane Brown’s works first came to my attention when she presented Islands of the Colourblind at Breenspace in 2013. I found her photographs to have an amazing charisma or aura. Somehow she takes images of ordinary things and invests them with a great deal of meaning and feeling. Those works, like the ones we are showing at Stills, have a simultaneous sense of being of the past but also of the present.
I love how analogue the works are. I love that the magic is being created with light and chem- icals and chance and film in a darkroom. At the same time, it’s not just about the image for Jane, she thinks carefully about how the prints are presented, so the works are art objects in themselves.
Over 2013 and 2014 Jane’s work has garnered considerable attention. She was included in Melbourne Now at the National Gallery of Victoria in 2013; was awarded the Art and Australia/Credit Suisse Contemporary Art Award in 2014; and was commissioned by the Centre for Contemporary Photography to create work for The Sievers Project, which was exhibited both at the CCP in 2012 and at the Melbourne Art Fair in 2014.
This is the first time we’ve shown Jane’s work. We met at Melbourne Art Fair last year and have continued the conversation since then. Jane al- ready has work in public collections including the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the National Gallery of Victoria. Her previous series have sold well to public and private collectors and we expect that this new body of work will continue to do that.”
KYLA MCFARLANE Writer and curator
“A colleague took me to see Jane Brown’s work in an exhibition she had at Edmund Pearce Gallery, Australian Gothic, which I thought was really out- standing. Following this, Brown was one of eight artists I curated into the group exhibition CCP Declares: On the Nature of Things, held at Centre for Contemporary Photography in 2012. This was a declarative exhibition highlighting bodies of work by artists I considered to be key practitioners in contemporary photography and video practice
in Australia today. We have since commissioned new work with Jane at CCP for our The Sievers Project, in which emerging artists respond to the work and life of Australian modern photographer Wolfgang Sievers.
Hand printed with exceptional skill in her own darkroom, her generally small-scaled, gelatin silver photographs include diverse subjects taken in Australia and abroad – historical sites, landscapes, libraries, industrial sites, memorials, interiors, museums and on the street. Whilst Brown is technically adept, she is also conceptually rigorous and brings an eccentric and elegiac eye to her subjects. Her work engages with the history of photography, the melancholy of experience, the emotional resonance of place, photographic narrative as well as literary influences, particularly the work of W. G. Sebald. Brown has been consistently building these interests over the past few years and will, I believe, go from strength to strength. She is also adventurous – The Sievers Project saw her accessing sensitive mining sites at Broken Hill and a former paper mill in Melbourne, experimenting with scale and selenium toning.”