Here is an article that appeared in my last newsletter. Written by my new agent Lande Pratt, it tells how I was inspired to make my new body of work by my recent visit to Fattoria Mafalda, a working goats cheese farm in rural Umbria between Orvietto and Todi.
Imagining a ‘Flâneuse’ and her Art in Rural Umbria, Italy
'Often places are a great inspiration, we might not know why, they just inspire. Maybe it’s their beauty, the memories invoked, the stillness, the light. Judith's recent work soaks up the Umbrian landscape. Her eye and hand embody an experience of land, light, air and sky. What if we extend Walter Benjamin’s idea of the flâneur to a rural setting? We inhabit mostly urban and suburban landscapes, among communities, city ephemera and soundscapes. So what does the rural landscape mean to the travelling artist and, is the imagery of a flâneuse to be celebrated differently to that of the strolling flâneur? It’s not difficult to imagine Judith Brenner as flâneuse at work. Her recent mixed media pieces, playfully titled, offer rich, textured surfaces. When asked about the most moving Umbrian moments, Judith responds: “the most joyous moment was when after two days of pouring rain after our arrival, the sun came out and lit up the landscape, a feature being the poppy fields. Also, as the week went on, the fields started to change colour and rather than the lush bright green (a bit like Cornwall!) the warmth of the sun turned them to [those] pinks and umbers I’d been waiting for”. Smitten, Tickled and Flippantare full of the immediacy of direct experience. The lively texture of paper, torn, cut, boldly placed and painted over with an assured hand, offer a joyful burst of energy. These works act too as a place of contemplation as one observes the sensuous, gestural mark and bright drizzle of fluorescent colour balanced by earthy underpainting. One can imagine the artist working plain air, senses flooded.' ( Judith's Agent, July 2018. www.beartcontemporary.com)