COINCIDENTAL ENCOUNTERS, 2020
Solo exhibition at Four You Gallery, Dubai, UAE

As the title dictates, Lena Brazin’s inaugural exhibition at Four You Gallery is a demonstration of oil paintings that celebrate relationships, both human and spiritual. The real and the supernatural collide harmoniously in Brazin’s artworks; incongruent beings are situated comfortably within the random frames. Despite their peculiarity, one is reluctant to question the unions that the artist depicts. Although the recurring ‘spirits’ that feature are arguably non-existent and take varying forms, they are immediately recognisable as transcendent guides or mirrors. Brazin explains that they aid her in navigating the painting, and her life more generally: “With their help and existence, I am able to navigate my own life.”

The artist paints what she knows, with assurance. Colours are bold, brush strokes are confident. Brazin builds her compositions by collating images of her surroundings, the faces and stories of those she knows, as well as memories she has gathered. The artist takes direct inspiration from happenstances; chance meetings that have longlasting impacts on one’s life. Encounters that Brazin depicts maybe coincidental, but they resonate and are un-fleeting. The subjects in each painting, both human and supernatural, engage with one another. Bodies intertwine and in some cases become one. 

Akin to the way Brazin paints, the artworks unfold in front of the viewer revealing deeper layers. The artist follows few rules in terms of construction, colour and content. This out of the ordinary approach is reflected in the finished paintings, which appropriately also err on the side of sculpture. Whilst the artworks are about self-reflection and self-awareness, they undoubtedly refuse timidity and selfconsciousness. The experiences that Lena Brazin illustrates are recognised by all. The artist encourages you to think beyond the material world and embrace the paralleled metaphysical.

Text by Harriet Abbott