Brenda Walsh - 'The Ark'

Wednesday 12 September - Sunday 7 October 2018

My work speaks of compassion towards our fellow humans and all creatures with who we share the planet. Over recent years, my paintings have focussed on the plight of animals and humankind’s complex relationship with them along with the moral and ethical issues around the subject.

The images in The Ark depict both animals and humans inhabiting a dystopian landscape choked by man-made pollution and impacted by global warming. The Ark is a symbol of hope, offering deliverance to those seeking refuge. The work, allegorical in nature, features familiar figures from art history. Casper David Friedrich’s Wanderer in the Sea of Fog looks on passively as the drama unfolds. Similarly the figure of Rousseau, the French naive painter, appears riding a polar bear and endangered rhinoceros. George Caleb Bingham’s Fur Traders Descending the Missouri speaks of man’s reliance on hunting animals. Arnold Bocklin’s The Mermaid suggests a mysterious or menacing element whilst Michelangelo’s Adam and Eve are seen being expelled from the Garden of Eden.

The religious imagery is a response to my love of Renaissance, early Christian and Gothic art. It also comes from my childhood exposure to Bible stories and feelings of awe and wonderment at that time.