'Lace and Snake's Skin', Elaine Brown

Two paintings, on the left showing lace on a brown background and on the right a snake's skin on a black background

Oil on gesso on boards, 46 x 30cm, 2005

Artist's statement

My paintings fall into the genre of still life. I am interested in the way an object can become resonant with meaning. The desire to fix the ephemeral nature of memories and emotional attachments underlies the work. Drawn to things which are inherently symbolic - personally or collectively - painting presents the place where, intuitively and deliberately, through assembly and depiction, I can manipulate their interpretations and create a scenario.

The representation of time and involvement through the process of making, visually apparent in painting and drawing, makes an intimate connection between the viewer, the artist and the object. The end point isn’t fixed at the start of each painting but through the process of rendering, of doing and undoing, the final image emerges. The paintings are not an illustration of a thought but rather part of an ongoing dialogue.

'Lace and Snake’s Skin' is a diptych although each panel could exist alone. Seen together they are unified by the gaze of the viewer. I have kept both objects for some years - placed in similar territories there are many parallels and polarities that draw them together and pull them apart.


Elaine Brown was born in London in 1961. She studied at the University of Reading 1980-84 and Cyprus College of Art 1985-86. Group exhibitions include New Contemporaries 1984 ICA London (touring) 1984, City Racing London 1985, Gloria Gallery Nicosia Cyprus 1986, New Academy Gallery London 1988, Pixley Street Artists Copenhagen Place London 1993, Espace Vega Paris 1995, Harriet Green Gallery London 1996, Watermans London 1997 and AAH London 2005-06. Solo shows at Turco - British Cultural Centre Ankara Turkey 1989, Harriet Green Gallery London 1995, Five Princelet Street London 2001 and Wolfson College Oxford 2003.