DAMIAN BROOMHEAD"A Broomhead drawing hasthe quality of emotional immediacy we usually associate with music…they burn"- Dr Inga Clendinnen.
'Broomhead presents human actions and emotions at the moment of their happening, so restoringpeople from their past to their existential present. He gives them back their lives as they happened,before they are parsed and analysed as historians start writing about them. A Broomhead drawing hasthe quality of emotional immediacy we usually associate with music…they burn’- Dr Inga Clendinnen, historian and author of Dancing with StrangersI'm a self-taught artist living in Sydney, working mainly with oil pastels. I’ve always used drawing as my medium as I find there's an intensity and immediacy to it. I tend to create my drawings around a theme, usually some kind of narrative moment extracted from the past. Over the years I’ve done series based around such themes as pilgrims, Houdini’s escapes, the HMS Bounty mutiny, the Gold Rush and, in recent years, the period of first contact in Australia, along with Indigenous traveller Bennelong’s trip to London in 1793. Colour is my dominant means of expression. Generally I choose a narrative moment, often extracted from a contemporaneous story or journal, and hold it up to the light, so to speak. I try and use colour to irradiate and charge the images with a certain kind of extra emotional energy that can often be hard to pin down otherwise. In that sense, colour always serves the expression in the picture. My pictures are to a large extent improvisations. I start with a central image and build the picture up around that. It’s story-making in a lyrical, intuitive kind of way. Maybe that’s where the importance of colour comes in. It’s such an effective means of creating atmosphere, perhaps a kind of inversion of traditional representation. My work is emphatically two dimensional and flat, and figurative, but the figures are usually simple and stripped down to basics. The tension created within the picture through colour and composition is paramount. Creating a visually compelling image is the overall intention.
WORKS BY DAMIAN BROOMHEAD