Keele Breen

My work reflects an on-going fascination with the nature of the painted surface and the act of painting itself.

I am particularly intrigued by the unfolding process of evaluation and re-evaluation which goes on as a painting progresses.

All my paintings explore the ways in which the elements of colour, line and composition play a part in and inform the whole. The inter-relatedness of each element, and the impact that small changes can have on the direction as a painting evolves.

Sometimes paint is applied boldly and sometimes in a more considered manner; either approach succeeds or fails according to its own context. Painting is combined with drawing; the gesture is the language of the brush and the pastel. I love the fact that what works in one situation may not work in another.

My paintings explore the transitory nature of the material world and human experience. Images evolve, transform, dissolve, rotate and re-emerge on the picture plane. The paintings are created in layers, with each layer acting as a kind of filter, obscuring and diffusing parts of the earlier underpainting and allowing sections to show through.

Whenever a new element is introduced or removed the whole composition is altered in ways which can be anticipated but never fully planned for. It calls for a relinquishing of control and an embracing of the unexpected, and forms the basis of my painting practice. The letting go of expectation is at least as important as the wilful manipulation of the painted surface.  

The painting is a lived experience, an unfolding conversation which can change direction in unexpected ways. Like life, there is no way of knowing what may emerge next and the final outcome remains a mystery right to the end.