Extra Mundane, by the British-born artist James Brook, will be on exhibit in the Pennsylvania College of Art & Design main gallery, 204 N Prince Street, Lancaster, Aug. 15 through Sept. 15, 2019.
Brook celebrates the extraordinary in the everyday, drawing upon the visual elements of a television newsfeed, the composition of common readymade household objects, and the canvas of children’s drawings.
Extra Mundane features work created in response to an unexplained phenomenon experienced by 62 schoolchildren in Zimbabwe. This mass witnessing of a silver oval craft landing near their playground and their subsequent drawings were an inspiration for Brook’s own interest in the supernatural.
“Their drawings of their experience led me to revisit my own drawings as a kid,” he says, noting the parallels were uncanny. He is keenly interested in the intersections of high and low art, as well as outsider art, developing these ideas into the show. This also includes paintings of television stills of reported UFO sightings.
“There’s a beautiful composition between focusing attention to something we don’t want to think about, looking at the colors and abstract notion of the thing.” he says. “When I saw these stills they were ready-made images; they were already paintings in my head.”
Brook uses the notion of time as material, looking at his own family lineage of artists. His artist mother saved his childhood drawings and gifted them to him for his 40th birthday. He in turn offered them to his daughter to copy, and her resulting drawings in response to his own at the same age will be included in the show.
“My work is about lineage, often autobiographical, and includes my heritage and my family to create a circle,” he says.
On First Friday, Sept. 6, the public is invited to attend a Gallery Lecture at 10 a.m. in the Atrium, at PCA&D, with the artist.
The Extra Mundane exhibit is open Mondays through Fridays, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Sept. 15, 2019. The exhibit is free and open to the public.