Gnarled, Hellish Forms, From Katie Brookes

Herein lies the works of London-based artist Katie Brookes, who creates gently-crafted works of intense subject matter! First and foremost, a fair warning: the thin lines of her imagery seem better-suited for an etching on a copper plate, to be studied in real life, than it does for viewing on a digital medium, at low resolution. So, if you are in London, you should stop by Art Work Space (Lower Ground, The Hempel Hotel, 31-35, Craven Hill Gardens, London W2 3EA) from now through February 18th. By seeing it in real life, you can get lost in the pen and ink drawings, which pull inspiration from Flemish Renaissance artists. The detail here is wonderful, like Dante’s Inferno being channeled and reinvented; no wonder the show is called Descent Of Life!

Here, mankind is portrayed in its most volatile, with plenty of open graves, crucifictions, and copulation.

In the words of Brookes herself:

“I make drawings that involve extremes of narrative, physical being and extremes of emotion in various sorts. I play with distorted forms and the grotesque, heaven to hell ratios, people never just going about their daily lives but pushed into uncomfortable circumstances. I rely on my drawings and use of different weighted lines to tell a story within an image.”

Some of these images are too large for us to post, so please head over to her website to see more.

Written by
Vee Hua 華婷婷

Vee Hua 華婷婷 (they/them) is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer with semi-nomadic tendencies. Much of their work unifies their metaphysical interests with their belief that art can positively transform the self and society. They are the Editor-in-Chief of REDEFINE, Interim Managing Editor of South Seattle Emerald, and Co-Chair of the Seattle Arts Commission. They also previously served as the Executive Director of the interdisciplinary community hub, Northwest Film Forum, where they played a key role in making the space more welcoming and accessible for diverse audiences.

Vee has two narrative short films. Searching Skies (2017) touches on Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States; with it, they helped co-organize The Seventh Art Stand, a national film and civil rights discussion series against Islamophobia. Reckless Spirits (2022) is a metaphysical, multi-lingual POC buddy comedy for a bleak new era, in anticipation of a feature-length project.

Vee is passionate about cultural space, the environment, and finding ways to covertly and overtly disrupt oppressive structures. They also regularly share observational human stories through their storytelling newsletter, RAMBLIN’ WITH VEE!, and are pursuing a Master’s in Tribal Resource and Environmental Stewardship under the Native American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota.

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Written by Vee Hua 華婷婷
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