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Brent Garbett Selected Works – Paintings and Drawings

Reception Friday 2 February @ 6 PM

Organized by Dan O'Neill

Every student I have ever worked with at NSCAD University is always moving toward embracing higher levels of studio independence often enrolling in Advanced, Studio and Independent studies in the later years of their visual art program. This choice is meant to test self-appointed challenges and to further develop their conceptual bearing, with multiple opportunities offered to every student to advance the space and time required to extend research, theory and practice, and to illuminate unlit recesses of production that encompass their highest aspirations to succeed. I believe that these areas of study are always focused on preparation for studio practice, post graduation.

Brent Garbett and I embarked on such a plan of action he wanted to embrace, when we agreed to an Independent study across the summer of 2016. Discussion was the mainstay of our week-to-week meetings, and I was also privileged enough to frequently observe him in action as we advanced the customary to and fro of our exchanges, both exploratory and beneficial. Garbett's devotion to his explorations, undertaken post graduation, certainly confirms his dedication and intent, and the results of his most recent accomplishments are here presented at HERMES for the benefit of the Halifax community.

Dan O'Neill

It's important for me to offer a responsive, personal experience for the viewer. Much of my work for painting is observationally based, a continuing record of capturing urban settings, those places I consider familiar territory with Halifax and Guelph being the most recent sources for this record keeping. Yet over the last two years, I've worked to break away from certain painting processes that I had previously developed, explored and extended, that I felt were beginning to become slightly restricted in being able to reveal the breadth of new approaches to examining familiar subject matter that I thought I could accomplish.

Drawing has been the activity that has best helped me address this challenge, allowing me to work more spontaneously and unconstrained. I use little preliminary planning and no form of external reference outside of memory and intuitive response. This activity allowed me to come into contact with understanding how to generate a more spontaneous and abstracted image, while also sustaining an uncomplicated approach, which I could now attend to in realizing the next stage for my painting. 

 So now I set about painting with renewed exuberance and an appreciation of having uncovered approaches and confidence with my practice of drawing and painting that now comfortably orbit and inform one another. These recent works then are the result of having made a step toward a more energized, less constrained and perhaps, a little more truthful agreement with myself to proceed.

Brent Garbett