Art Residency Proposal - Illusion or Delusion? Brazen Edwards


In our contemporary world of social upheaval and conflict, this proposed residency and exhibition reaches deeply into the subconscious and our perceptions of what lurks under the surface of our mental state.

Using science and alchemy such as paint densities and surface tension, Edwards’ experimental painting process will aspire to create a logical response to her work on a topic that many find disconcerting as she portrays themes relating to her former career in Criminology. The use of gestural movement and organic figurative elements use a monochromatic minimalist composition that invokes Pareidolia, a psychological phenomenon in which the mind responds to stimulus. 

By creating an exploration between the viewer’s reality and the one imagined by its conceiver, it allows a glimpse into the subconscious.  Often what can come to the surface in looking at Brazen’s work is much like a Rorschach Test in which subjects' perceptions of inkblots were recorded and then analyzed using psychological interpretation and complex algorithms. Some psychologists still use this test to examine a person's personality characteristics and emotional functioning.  There are a number of theories as to the cause of this phenomenon but most experts would agree that it’s a psychological determination for many delusions that involve the senses.  The ability to recognize faces from a distance or in poor visibility was in fact an important survival technique and while it enables humans to instantly judge whether an oncoming person is a friend or foe, it could result in some misinterpretation of random images or patterns of light and shadow.  The issue of course is that most people recognize illusions for what they are, but some become fixated on the reality of this perception and turn an illusion into a delusion which can give important insight into a person’s mental state. 


Thiey will consist of large scale mixed media paintings on paper mounted to wood panels for exhibition.  The artwork included in this residency submission will be an example of the style of artwork I will create for this display.

I’m looking forward to possibly working together and collaborating on a show that will help realize my goals for an art residency and public exhibition as an emerging artist.  Your studio space will allow me to create an experimental body of work that will challenge people’s perceptions of how they view the world.


I am highly inspired and motivated to make this artwork for PACT residency because at the core of my artwork I’m inspired by different cultures and how we relate to mental illness and criminality.  I believe my paintings can make an inspiring and symbolic contribution to your centre. The task of contributing to a public collection such as this is a revered opportunity for me.

I am proposing to create a series of 6 large scale paintings on paper, 40” x 60” (Option: 8 paintings 36” x 24”) that are based on visual influences and inspirations of spontaneous ink blots. I have included visual samples to illustrate my intentions, and you have seen examples of my original work on my website. This specific proposal is directly related to the work I have done previously at the Peachland Public Art Gallery in Canada. The style of my work is expressive abstraction, but my work can also be seen as having dark cultural symbols in contemporary painting. It’s important to note that style cannot be collapsed into one way of seeing my work. It is a combination of imagination and something entirely new that’s dredged up from the surface by each viewer.

My process includes ink and watercolour painting that utilizes glazing show through as colour luminescence. I also make my own mark marking tools that are customized for each piece. These works will be haunting, but elegant, and full of hidden meaning.