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Art Department


EXPO Profile: senior Sydney Brown

EXPO Profile: senior Sydney Brown

: Photo by Mark Bocek.

EXPO Profile: senior Sydney Brown

: EXPO: Courtesy Cornish College of the Arts.

EXPO Profile: senior Sydney Brown

: Photo by Mark Bocek.

EXPO Profile: senior Sydney Brown

: Photo by Mark Bocek.

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Warm yet mysterious, Syd Brown’s (AR ‘13) compelling works take you deep into the realm of dreams and consciousness. Her work can be seen in Cornish’s EXPO 13.

UPDATE: Mark the date: May 15! GiveBig supports artists — like Sydney Brown. Dig deep and give big on GiveBig Day.

In Syd Brown’s studio “four eyes” is not a denigrating term for wearers of glasses, it’s about seeing two worlds at once. In her works, beasts of all sorts appear and most have more than the normal number of eyes. In fact, her studio is part bestiary, chock full of walls of “fur,” maquettes and paintings of multi-eyed dream beasts, buffaloes and sheep and cats and even a black fox. She does paintings with people in them, too. The human subjects on display in her work area are either sleeping or have their eyes averted. “Even when they’re awake, their attention is elsewhere,” she says, “I like that you don’t get to touch them.” Every piece draws you in and makes you think.

But it’s the multiple eyes that stand out. Syd has a clear vision (no pun here) of what it means. “I got this idea of being able to see not in one dimension, with eyes in the present, but with past eyes and with future eyes,” she says. “Omnipotence for example, this idea of talking into the psyche and the subconscious.”

There is a grotesque element, obviously, to four-eyed animals, but it is an upbeat kind of grotesque. Her paintings are toned in earth shades and violets and tans, warm, with a highly polished technique. Somehow, Syd manages to create works that are both sweet and creepy at the same time: “I like that it’s not too scary but I like a little subversive nature.” Her beasts are unnatural, but they are creatures of wonderment and revelation and transformation rather than creatures of horror.

Syd, now a graduating senior, has been drawn to the work of Carl Jung, among others, using its insights to understand her own experiences. “I’m fascinated deeply with dream analysis and psychoanalysis,” Syd says. “I’ve been recording dreams for a number of years and I have this dream journal. I was logging dreams and looking up their symbolism with various insights coming through.”

Her evocative work began to emerge from this interest in dreams, sleep and consciousness. “As I was analyzing the whole journal, I saw that there were trends and patterns and certain figures that kept coming up and situations kept repeating. I asked myself, ‘What does that mean? And how does that speak to the waking life? What kind of parallels can you draw?’ So I used the situations and figures and dreams to help illustrate what I’m experiencing now as a developing human.”

She is not immune from the uncanny effect her art produces, in fact she is drawn to creating these works because they transport her. “It’s kind of the feeling I have when I’m making these, that I’ve got one foot in this world and one in another.”

EXPO 13: BFA Exhibition, May 10 – May 25, 2013, 5:00 pm on Cornish campus, Visual Arts Center.

EXPO 13 builds upon the annual BFA Exhibition, highlighting the depth and range of our students’ creative inquiry and expression at Cornish College of the Arts. The Art and Design shows serve as the keystone to an expanded schedule of events, including dialogue, performances, and artistic interventions. EXPO 13 celebrates the achievements of Cornish’s graduating seniors by acknowledging their contributions as professional artists and designers. Cornish is proud of their determination, hard word, and appetite for experimentation, as they turn their ambitions from school towards society. Congratulations to the class of 2013.


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