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Milton Keynes Arts Centre is pleased to announce our spring exhibition, The Winter Girls, a collection of new sculptures by Hannah Brown, which explore the physical relationship between nature and human experience. Moving away from painted renditions of the English landscape, Brown continues to investigate the consumption and domestication of nature.
The influence of apiculture is reflected not only in the title of the exhibition (borrowed from a phrase that the site’s beekeeper used to describe the bees that remain in the hive over winter) but also in the visual language of the sculptures. Displayed hierarchically, they reflect the roles within the colony and employ a honeycomb motif throughout. Brown cites the influence of the decorative tableware designed by British pottery manufacturers Carlton Ware, Crown Devon and SylvaC from the inter-war and post-war period. Heavily glazed with oil paint and lacquer, they hover between the nostalgic, the familiar and the vulgar.
While national heritage, social values and symbols of nature are recurring themes in Brown’s work, these new sculptures search for a balance between the celebration of the landscape, the iconography of nature and the sinister undertones that such idealization and commodification brings with it. Brown has collected fallen debris from trees around the grounds of the Arts Centre and physically encapsulated them within the work, combining them with the celebrated icon of British design, the Liberty print. Together, these elements create a tension in which the sculptures move between attraction and perversity.
Hannah Brown (b 1977) in Salisbury, Wiltshire lives and works in London. She studied MA Sculpture at the Royal College of Art (2006) and has had solo shows at Gimpel Fils and Barts Gallery in London. Recent group exhibitions include; The Arboretum, Royal West of England Academy, Bristol; Five Painters, Cross Gallery, Dublin; At the Edges, Angus-Hughes Gallery, London and Alter, Vegas Gallery, London. Hannah was shortlisted for the 2012 John Moores Painting Prize and for the 2014 East London Painting Prize and John Ruskin Prize.
Image: The Workers Hymns I, 2015
FREE on site activities, Saturday 11 April 2015
10:30 – 12:30 Young Pioneers Family Workshop
12:30 – 15:00 The Winter Girls Preview
13:00 Great Linford Honey Talk and Tasting, including an exclusive look at how a beehive is constructed, with Sue and Rodney Dangerfield
12:30 – 15:00 Woodwork Workshop open demonstration with Mike Hare
13:00 – 15:00 Art Social in the gardens with Debi-Sara Wilkinson
Adventure trail activity sheets for families available throughout the exhibition