My sign is Cancer, so I am water. Enveloped by it, I feel my soul mending. The underwater series began as a series about visual healing. It was the first time I created art purely for its visual healing power. These images are meant to invite the viewer to interact; to image themselves as the subject, floating, releasing, and having faith that they will float. Inhale…exhale…. your body becoming one with the rhythm. Other metaphors have emerged during the process of developing the underwater series: water as a cleansing of the soul i.e. baptismal, creating religious overtones. In the end, the continuous theme is “letting go”. Going underwater with all of these people to capture the inspirational photos that allowed for these oils, is just as much a journey as creating the paintings.
I am fascinated by the strength of women. I grew up watching my mother raise nine children. What we have become because of her and my father’s strengths is remarkable. Through color, light, texture and perspective, I aim to show you real modern women; not just soft, sweet, and vulnerable. They own their sexuality and use it. In some of the paintings the women are so confident they appear to be “man eaters”, too powerful to approach. They enjoy their beauty as much as the viewer. Women have been portrayed as victimized sex symbols, vulnerable, celebrated classically in male dominated art history, for the superficial aspects of their physics. At first glance you may think these paintings are about vanity, but they are a celebration of women owning their sexuality and their emotional and physical strengths.
Taking on life’s challenges and then, overwhelmed, we must breath…. and let go. Celebrating these moments when we allow ourselves to let go. Metaphorically, these are mine.
My name is Lorraine Brennan.
I was born in Suffern NY. At age ten we moved to Mississippi. It was the only place besides NY that we had relatives. My mother was ten when she moved from MS to NY, the irony. In culture shock, steeped in the south, with yankee parents I began my new life in a new world. My father was a cop in NYC for twenty years and looked forward to raising his growing family somewhere safer. Coming from such a big loving family with eight siblings has deeply effected my perspective. Having northern and southern experiences has influenced my subject matter and drive to be better. The Riding series is the city girl in me, while the Girls Getting Ready series reflects the hot lazy weekends in The South that I love.
I fought being a southern girl, but after living down south longer than I had in NY, I had to except, it was having it’s way with me. I had always dreamed of moving back to the place I had been taken away from. The art Mecca of NYC. As a young foolish artist I thought, “didn’t my parents know I was gonna become an artist? How could they have taken me away from my destiny?” In the middle of life at age 45, I see now it is the journey, not the destination, which is the purpose of life. My journey, purpose, is to paint my experiences and the rest will happen as fate means for it to. I believe heavily in Karma and live as best I can through it’s grace.
My paintings are modern genre’ scenes of everyday life experiences. I count on the fact that we have universal emotions and experiences. I hope for connections, remembrances, inspiration,and de’ ja vu for the viewer.
The Riding Series is about being free. A metaphor for traveling through life. We ride out, flying down the the highway of life, lost in our thoughts on the way to our next experiences.
The Underwater Series is about freedom as well. It also has religious overtones. To float, you must let go, release tension, and have faith. Swimming feels like a religious experience to me. I am able to finally calm my mind and just feel the rhythm of the water, floating, bobbing up and down….. inhale…… exhale……. It is the closest I have ever gotten to meditating and the only time I have been able to visualize my father, whom died from colon cancer at a young sixty years old.
The Girls Getting Ready Series reflects us as sexual beings. Doing photo shoots of many different women has helped me embrace my own sexuality and power as a women, enjoying myself first, before sharing my sexual being with anyone else.
It is also an Ode’ to the powerful women who created and raised nine compassionate children. We are spreading the love that she and my father blessed us with. My family experiences have made me the person and artist I am today.