British contemporary artist Orlanda Broom has delivered the first solo show of her new abstract works at Grove Square Galleries. ‘Shapeshifters’ will showcase a powerful collection of new works by Orlanda Broom, known for her richly saturated, dreamlike landscape paintings.
We spoke to Orlanda to find out all about her art.
How did it all start?
I went to art college at 16 as I knew that I wanted to work in the creative field. The BTEC course I did gave us students a good idea of various different disciplines. I went on to study Fine Art, completing my MA which I studied for in Barcelona.
Who is your art inspiration?
There are many! I wrote my thesis at art college on Gillian Ayres, and I have always loved her colourful abstract paintings. Paula Rego is another… her art is so powerful, honest and so relevant in current times. Both artists worked up until they died, Rego very recently of course… this kind of work ethic is also very inspiring.
Tell us about your abstract show ‘Shapeshifters’ at Grove Square Galleries.
It’s an exhibition of my abstract paintings made using resin, which has a high-gloss, glasslike finish. Resin is quite hard to control as it has the consistency of runny honey and I am working with varying factors including surface and temperature so there’s an element of chance at play. The finished paintings are colourful, organic forms which are open to interpretation – some seem quite figurative, resemble flowers or have a certain feeling or attitude… of course, it’s subjective.
How did the relationship with Grove Square Galleries come about?
Marc Standing, another artist with Grove Square, recommended my work and the rest is history.
Tell us how you reimagine the genre of abstraction?
I think it’s a really interesting time for abstract art. As a painter of course there’s a natural interest in paint – as a medium itself. Exploring the possibilities of different kinds of paint and materials led me to abstraction; harnessing those possibilities to focus purely on form and colour. There is scope for crossover as well, there’s no need to be so rigid within art movements. My landscape paintings are semi-abstract.
How do you approach work for grand spaces like the luxury Mandarin Oriental London?
These are always a great opportunity to work large! I don’t really change what I am doing or how I approach it. Working on large scale for amazing buildings like hotels is really just about practicalities. For example, making the abstract painting which is now at the Mandarin, I had an assistant help me mix the resin because I needed such large volumes – and the larger the volume, the less time you have before it sets. I did a very large painting for Four Seasons NYC and had to rent an industrial unit for several months – my London studio at that time wasn’t big enough and was on the first floor.
What tips can you give to budding artists who are trying to put together solo exhibitions?
Use social media to help you get the word out, take your time to get organised – there’s always a lot to do other than creating your art.
Does art help you in other areas of your life?
Art is a really important way of seeing the world through others eyes, so I think it helps us all – probably without even realising it a lot of the time.
How do you develop your art skills?
Working every day in the studio ensures you are honing your skills all the time. Trying new things is also important; new techniques, technology and being open minded about how you make your work.
What is next for you?
I have been invited to exhibit in a group show, using a newly developed material… it’s very innovative and ground-breaking. I can’t say too much about it yet but this will be in Los Angeles later this year. I am back in my studio preparing for a show of my landscape paintings with Grove Square Galleries next year. There’s also a group show of Grove Square artists once ‘Shapeshifters’ has closed.
To discover more, visit: grovesquaregalleries.com
View this post on Instagram
All imagery courtesy of Orlanda Broom / Grove Square Galleries.