In early 2017, Mairin Briody spent a lot of time driving to get her infant daughter to sleep. In the car, she would reflect on the state of the world – on climate change, political tension and rising nationalism. On these drives she found herself increasingly drawn to the wind farms in the surrounding landscape – she was calmed by the rhythm of the turbines sweeping arms, feeling that they were a resonance of hope in the landscape.
On an evening over a hundred years earlier, Russian-born artist Sonia Delaunay walked down a street in Paris and witnessed for the first time the newly installed electric lamp posts. At the time, society was being transformed by new technologies, global politics were precarious and Europe was on the brink of war. In among all this, Delaunay saw the street lights as a promise of the future, resulting in a series of paintings exploding with rhythmic colour.
In Briody’s paintings, she draws from her own experience and that of Delaunay to connect the viewer with the world beyond the turmoil of the political moment of today and to convey a feeling of optimism, a belief that there is a deep, sustainable and equal future ahead.
Mairin Briiody: Signal is presented by the Art Gallery of Ballarat’s Backspace program for emerging artists.