David Brett curates the visual elements of his paintings with the same forensic eye that he once used editing news stories during his 30-plus years as a journalist.
His work explores the changing patterns of time through colour and light in landscape, challenging preconceptions of the genre as it seeks a personal, emotional connection to nature.
The vibrant energy of the paintings aims to visually uplift the viewer — and offer that same sense of wellbeing found in experiencing a sunlit field or a cool, light-dappled forest. His process draws as a springboard on the countryside near his London home, while memories of other places, lived in or visited, are woven into the canvas. Shifting between representation and abstraction, he sees the work as a meditation on something, hopefully, more universal.
Brett is engaged in a constant quest for arresting or dramatic colour combinations. His decisions over when to tone down or make hues more vivid are part of a finely tuned balancing act that also takes in form and texture.
He has said that he believes aesthetic art can be challenging, and constantly pushes himself to create pieces that are both visually stunning and thought-provoking.
His current work reprocesses the 27 years he spent in the newsroom at the London Evening Standard. It examines the noise of constant (often quite negative) information present in society and juxtaposes it with our need for stillness and reflection.
In deconstructing and piecing back together his journalist work, Brett has collaged newspaper cuttings from stories that he has either written or edited alongside other news articles of those days. The content of the words become not just a reflection on events in history but also a personal self-examination.
The newsprint on which they are written is recycled and repurposed to create something new and harmonious. A metamorphosis that echoes the ever-changing nature of news agendas. In turning down — or painting over — the multiplicity of words he is mirroring his journalist role: editing what does and doesn’t make it to the canvas.