Mostyn Bramley-Moore Essay

Published Wednesday, January 2, 2002

The environment acts as an aesthetic stimulus in which Bramely-Moore translates the physical experience of the Australian landscape into abstract forms. He fuses abstraction and realism to create a strong presence of the place and subject. Colour, gesture and from all contribute to the visual resolution of his ideas, which is the manifestation of the conscious and unconscious within the picture plane.

Image: Cap and Well,122 x 110cm; oil on linen; 1992

Mostyn Bramley-Moore - Cap and Well

It is the complexity of what is seen and thought that intrigues and motivates Bramely-Moore's work. He recognises the intricate qualities of everyday life and attempts to capture them on the canvas. His work is challenging to view and interpret, and for this he make no apologises as he feels that art is not a passive process of viewing but rather a conceptual/visual enterprise.

I think that as a painter I like paintings to be challenging, as the creator of them, at the end of the day, I like it if they're not easily described or easily analysed and I think too the audience's reaction to a painting. I'm quite happy when it's a bit complicated and a bit multi-faceted. If someone looks at one of my paintings and they're not sure what it's about - it makes them think and... live through the picture, I think that's not a bad thing.
You've got to all use all your armoury, all your artillery to achieve that in a viewer, the marks, the bits of imagery, the bits of story. I'm quite conscious of not painting pictures just for myself, I know there's an audience out there.

Quintessential to his work is the essence of the place, and like the Abstract Expressionist painters of the 1950/60's Bramely-Moore explores the phenomena of the environment. His works may look nothing like places in terms of their visual appearance but are more like them in their essential qualities than any photographic or realistic painting could capture. He is interested in distilling onto the canvas feelings and properties about the landscape that transcend what are observed.

He works on themes based around particular places and suggests there is a specific connection with a body of wok. He call this a conceptual narrative which links the collection of work in terms of their integral relationships. Importantly it is the development of work that reflects and resolves ideas he has about a place and how it can be represented beyond what is seen.

By Craig Malyon

Questions on the Artist

  • Compare and contrast Bramley-Moore's treatment of the landscape with another artist in the following list: Paul Cezanne, Paul Gauguin, Kathleen Peteyarre, Tony Tuckson, Brett Whiteley, Immants Tillers.
  • Select one of the paintings on the slide show of his work (in the Art Right Now 2 cd-rom) and discuss the feelings you think the artists is trying to convey to the audience. Look at the title of the work and think about a new title you believe would be appropriate.
  • What does the artist mean when he suggests in his paintings a site that transcends what is seen? Is this the essence of abstraction? Explain why?

Artists Connections

Historical Contemporary
Jackson Pollock Ken Whisson
Frank Stella Judy Watson
Phillip Guston Angela Brennan
Chaim Soutine David Rankin
Wassily Kandinsky Bruno Letti
Tony Tuckson Peter Sharp
Barnett Newman Idris Murphy

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