BROOKE NAECOLE CRAIG BROWN
After waking up paralyzed at age 11, Brown was diagnosed with a rare neuroimmune disorder, beginning her journey with disease. During inpatient treatment, she was introduced to art as a way of coping with her external and internal struggles. This led to a life-long practice of using art as a way of understanding the diseased body. Brown’s work is varied but focuses on perception of self through the lens of disease. She is interested in prompting the viewer to explore notions of mortality. Through this process, she invokes empathy. She explores creating a new photographic and painterly narrative through experimental/scientific processes. Brown received her BFA with a concentration in Photography and Media Arts from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 2016. She has exhibited throughout the southeastern United States including the First Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville, Tennessee.
We are all physical manifestations of an idea. Our perceptions of life, altered by the very existence of a consciousness, depend on notions of wellbeing. The diseased body makes people uncomfortable, not out of empathy but out of the realization that the body is a mechanical structure impending a breakdown.
I am interested in the materiality of a photograph or painting in comparison to the body. Film, paper, canvas, or pigmented prints act as this body showing the physical marks of disease. The work becomes flesh. Traditionally photographs are thought of as portals into a moment of time. I like to test the boundaries of this concept. I want to think of the photograph as an object, a physical thing, pigment on paper, light burning a sensitive plane. I am interested in the conflict between photograph as portal and photograph as body. Similarly, paintings are molded using bodily fluids and scientific methods to display the markings of pain, disease, and the functions of the viscera. Throughout these processes my work becomes my body, my identity, my disease.