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Ange Mullen-Bryan

About Ange Mullen-Bryan:

Ange Mullen-Bryan works from her studio in Painswick Gloucestershire.

She took her foundation in Art and design in Stroud and went on to study for her Bachelor of Arts degree at Winchester School of Art, graduating in 2000.

In 1997 Ange Mullen-Bryan took her first trip to Sweden, she has returned year after year ever since and whilst she developed her painting practice those visits to Sweden have been essential and crucial. Ange has had various solo and group exhibitions since graduating. In 2008 she was shortlisted for the prestigious Liverpool John Moores PaintingPrize and in 2011 was selected for the RWA Autumn open exhibition.

When talking about her work, Ange Mullen-Bryan states:

‘My paintings are inspired by the lakes, forests and skies of a vast Swedish landscape and a very particular and illuminating Nordic light. I paint often remote and unpeopled¬† wilderness. These paintings plot points on a journey; be it a physical or emotional one. As if I were looking for a map to navigate my way through this landscape, I let the act of painting lead me. I give myself up to the chaotic and emotional journey, compelling and uncertain.

Red barns and homesteads; sharp and crackling branches lash against smooth snow with long red shadows and fierce pink skies.

Hot lupins, dark pines, slippery, dripping lakes and quiet fires. Distant echoes of the groaning, warping and thumping of a lake trapped under ice.

This is a land that becomes something closer to a scene from ancient myth or folklore, where the imagination runs away and the uncanny resides. Where the real and imagined co-exist and are often difficult to determine from one another. Here you find yourself beginning to believe that the little people of folk tales really do come out at twilight.

I am often enticed by precarious boundaries, where land meets lake and light meets dark. In these unsteady places, you are neither safe nor at risk but feel both at once.

In the wilderness I feel vulnerable in the face of nature and that seems rare and unusual in such a convenient world. You learn to respect nature and listen to it. This is both humbling and profound and it forces you to engage with forgotten instincts. I love feeling that intensity, it reminds me of the ancient nature of our evolution which shapes us.

I work on coloured linens and canvases, leaving vast stretches unpainted, I drip and patch the thin veils and thick strokes of paint together. Colour and form knock, jar and rest against each other, a tangle makes a whole.

I invite an escape into a kind of utopia, where you can smell freedom and pine in the air, a place I think I know. Yet I nod to the nagging impossibility of it and remind you that good fairy tales have a lesson within them.

I tell darker tales and dress them up in the fabric, the costume, of colour and light.’

~Ange Mullen-Bryan 2015

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