It’s not often that I come across an Irish painter I admire but Ken Browne is certainly one. Self taught and originally a musician Browne’s style is a peculiar mix of 18th Century Romantic landscape painting and contemporary abstract aesthetics that are somehow quintessentially Irish. His colours are of this land, of Ireland, the tumultuous skies heavy with grey cloud, mist, fog, there is wind, wonderful autumnal light and of course the colours of the bog, that deep brown earthy colour that evokes the myths and folklore of this country.
This is emotional work, a synthesis of many landscapes, a collective memory of Ireland that finds its way into Browne’s narrative through music. And it is music that lies at the bottom of each composition, is the key to each painting, is the medium through which he creates his imaginary spaces. One could say that these paintings are pictures of an interior space in which music creates the world.
Here’s how Browne describes his work:
Through my work I try to create a sense of place without a specific location in mind.
A process of layering invokes the elements of land, sea and sky. Derived from memory and emotions I am bringing them back together in my paintings, holding on to the chance accidents and spontaneous marks which are integral to my technique without losing the overall compositional intention, I balance between habitual mark making and recognising happy accidents when they occur.
This process of layering is not only physical – there is a darker edge to my paintings, a deeper meaning that lurks in the shadows. They are not only abstract landscapes but “inscapes”, bringing the outside and inside world together, merging places with emotions and letting the viewer follow me on my emotional journey while experiencing their own that is what my art is about.