Glenys Brookbanks | A Continuing Practice
“In painting, ideas are stimulated by practice, from which life springs out. It comes from interior considerations, sub-conscious conversations, meditations. Insight takes a material form. Measurements, judgments, perceptions, values, truths – these are living drawings. They are delivered through the practice.” G. E. Brookbanks. 2018
Glenys Brookbanks attended Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1988. Brookbanks’ reputation as a painter has evolved as ‘a continuing practice’. Her works are held in a number of public collections including Te Papa Tongarewa, Wallace Art Trust, University of Auckland, Gibbs Collection, Waikato Museum, as well as a number of significant private and corporate collections.
In 1995 Brookbanks’ work was included in the influential show of contemporary New Zealand painting called , ‘A Very Peculiar Practice’ as well as Govett-Brewster’s seminal 1996 exhibition ‘Skirted Abstraction’, devoted to work by women abstract painters. Brookbanks re-interprets minimalist colour field painting to soften a hard-edged masculine aesthetic. Her subversion of the grid is enlivened through use of perforated panels meticulously prepared with a gesso or tempera surface. Colour washes are marked with fine pencil on top of this turbulent ground, contradicting the regularity of the foundational grid.
Glenys Brookbanks is concerned with the ‘skin’ of her art. The viewer becomes interested in negotiating its many shifting surface changes. This is very different from the way we read the tightly constructed surfaces of earlier modern abstract painting, in which plane, field and edge were of primary concern. Referring to previous works, Linda Tyler eloquently noted that Brookbanks’ painting “offers a quiet homage to geometry which is touched with mystery“. Perhaps these works energise more of this mystery.