New Art West Midlands spotlight: Lorna Brown

‘Nice Middle Class White Girl', Lorna Brown

‘Nice Middle Class White Girl', Lorna Brown

Launching at mac birmingham on 16 February 2017, New Art West Midlands 2017 is the annual showcase for exciting new contemporary art by fine art or visual arts graduates of the five University art schools in the West Midlands region: Birmingham City, Coventry, Staffordshire, Wolverhampton and Worcester, plus for the first time this year, Hereford College of Arts.

It showcases work by 31 artists including sculpture, painting, print, photography, installation, video and animation. The exhibition is organised by Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery as part of the wider New Art West Midlands visual arts network initiative.

In a series of spotlight features, we will highlight a number of the artists exhibiting:

Motivated by a desire to explore racial, cultural, female social experience and identity, Lorna Brown's work often stems from a place of frustration and contemplation of personal mind-sets. The Hereford College of Arts graduate's work will be on show as part of the New Art West Midlands 2017 exhibitions at the Waterhall, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.

Brown has poured a lifetime’s experience into her photography. As a person of colour growing up in the Forest of Dean, she was subjected to subtle forms of racism – one teacher suggested that she straighten her hair to make it look prettier, and she had a boyfriend who said that he was 'obsessed with her physicality but could only see himself with a middle class white girl'. All of this stuck and she got involved in dead-end jobs and bad relationships, before deciding to go art school in her early 30s. She uses her past experiences to look at what’s considered ‘beautiful' for black women, taking pictures of her own naked body and then manipulating them to reflect some kind of white ideal.

New Art West Midlands 2017
Waterhall Gallery, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery - 18 February - 14 May 2017
mac birmingham - 18 February - 14 May 2017
Wolverhampton Art Gallery - 18 February- 14 May 2017
Worcester City Art Gallery - 18 February - 3 June 2017