To truly understand a human being, one must take into account our transient nature. Inside of us, changes are happening every minute. Some are minuscule on a cell level, others subconscious, often missed or taken for granted. Yet this chimeric nature we share with all things on the planet, from animals to even inanimate objects, has enabled us to survive and evolve for millennia despite all the challenges we face daily.
British contemporary artist Orlanda Broom explores the mysteries surrounding these changes and transitions in her first solo exhibition entitled Shapeshifters at Grove Square Galleries in London. The artist took on the role of “shape shifter,” which allowed her to be fully present while creating canvases bursting with explosive movement and fluid shapes that perfectly depict the metamorphosis.
Understanding The Nature of Materials
For Broom, the end result is not as important as the exploration of mediums she works with. By avoiding labels, she creates transcendent compositions that reimagine the genre of abstraction. While examining the power of movement and fluidity, the artist allows the spontaneity and nature of materials to be at the forefront of her artistic expression. The use of resin on canvas gives Broom the freedom to work quickly, yet at the same time, it is an intense process full of challenges. Broom said:
Decisions must be made instantly because I am working with varying factors, including temperature, surface and fluidity, so there’s an element of risk.
The creation of abstract works is only possible due to Broom’s complete understanding and surrender to the material’s qualities. The masterful warping and merging of the colors that often happen at the materials’ whim perfectly reflects how little control we have over our own chimeric nature.
The Spontaneity of Transitions
The shapeshifting nature of resin allows the artist to create ambiguous artworks that invite viewers to engage and form their interpretations. Broom delights in the reinterpretation and the flow of thoughts her work evokes in the observer. Yet the changing nature of forms does not stop once the work is complete. It continues to morph, evolve and transmute in the mind’s eye.
Uninhibited by brushes or tools, the artist allows her work to come to life spontaneously because, to her, the greatest joy comes from simply observing the transitions from one state into another. Inspired by the work of abstract expressionists such as Arshile Gorky and Jackson Pollock, Broom creates paintings that celebrate form, technique, and color.
Shapeshifters at Grove Square Galleries
The exhibition Shapeshifters has the power to transport viewers into another world, thanks to the play of vibrant colors, light, and translucency in Broom’s abstract works. Like the Rorschach test, each piece invites one to reflect upon personal attitudes, feelings, and thoughts. The forms and emotions continue to shapeshift in our consciousness long after the resin sets and metamorphosis is complete.
Exhibition Shapeshifters will be on view at Grove Square Galleries in London from June 16th until July 30th, 2022.