Faces in the Fire
Gallery 46, Whitechapel, London. May 2017
This collection of work crosses boundaries and beliefs between philosophy, spirituality, and feminism and attempts to explore connections between the physicality of the artists own body and the greater cycles of nature and the physical universe.
The Floratopia series considers ancient Goddess cultures and the Medicine wheel with a nod towards Buddhist mandalas and religious iconography whilst discussing abstract ideas of science, nature and gender sociology.
A decade of performance art has preceded this collection of work in which art blurs into life and the personal becomes the political and vice versa. Ever the cheeky activist, Edbrooke hijacks humor to discuss the deeper and more worrying aspects of gender inequality. This theme has been the constant motivation over the last 12 years of her work in which a rich and fantastical array of artworks, installations and performances have attempted to question and somehow harmonise this gender related imbalance that the artist thinks she has identified.
It is this idea of re-balancing that is directly addressed in the ‘Bunch of Nobs’, in which these miniature wooden deities aim to invoke equilibrium between female and male energies wherever they are placed.
Rye Creative Centre, East Sussex
Bursting with colour, light and simple radiance this new collection of work is the complete opposite of the dark, weighty and complex subject of the ‘cycles’ that inspired Edbrookes last series.
These delicate but bold watercolour paintings are a celebration of the Pagan festival of Litha, more commonly known as Summer Solstice, which marks the longest, lightest day of the year.
By honouring the midsummer blooms and blossoms that the abundance of sunshine brings, Edbrooke continues with her trademark obsession of celebrating the female body, yet again drawing parallels between the cycle of the seasons and each phase of the complete menstrual cycle.
With all its varied and rich displays of crownings, births and bursts The Vagina is glorified as each sensation is delicately depicted. Some loud and powerful, some quietly humming with colour and feeling, some fragile and tender, others more defined, but all perfectly unique.
The glossy finish celebrates the plethora of sheens that adorns the labia from day to day, moment to moment… remnants of acts of lust, of function or more simply of the mundane.
The BlackShed gallery
Floratopia is a collection of new works by the artist, which can be considered as individual pieces but essentially they are a suite of panels designed to conform with one another to form the cycle as they are hung and viewed in the gallery space. Edbrooke’s iconic panels appear to float seductively off the walls, tiny flower heads sunk into glossy resin are set against rich dark backgrounds.The flowers’ lustrous beauty is preserved and their colour gently leaches out into the darkness behind. The work considers ancient Goddess cultures with the suggestion of buddhist manuals, a hint of Shamanistic relics and a nod to religious iconography.
Through this work we may question Edbrooke’s abstract ideas as we look to the stars searching the intwined metaphorical cycles that the artist wants us to consider, as she attempts to connect her own natural cycles with the patterns of the science of the universe.