Donna Brennan: Hortus Conclusus

12 June – 14 July 2018

‘Working with stones, minerals, gold and silver, my work explores the nature/artifice dichotomy, transporting stones and minerals from the realm of nature into the realm of culture.’

Derived from the Latin term for ‘enclosed garden’, Hortus Conclusus is a series of wearable sculptural art pieces, crafted from a mélange of minerals, stones, gold, bronze and silver and presented against an ethereal photographic backdrop of dye-sublimation floral images printed on aluminium.

This is a major development in London-based fine art jeweller and photographer Donna Brennan’s practice.  For over 20 years, she has been creating small-scale wearable sculptural forms composed of precious and semiprecious stones that explore refraction and the interplay of light. In the early 1990s, she pioneered a unique technique of enamelling on crystal which she developed further for the Collect Open at the Saatchi Gallery in February 2018. This was the Brennan’s first concept-driven installation in the UK, and was also the first time she incorporated her photography into an exhibition. CAA is delighted to show this unique installation, Hortus Conclusus, in the gallery setting, giving visitors ample time and space in which to fully explore and contemplate this layered and conceptually-ambitious work.

Brennan completed an MA with Distinction from the Royal College of Art, London, in 2010 and has had solo exhibitions internationally, including the Museum of Decorative Arts in Dresden, Germany, and Gallery Marzee, the Netherlands. Her work is held in international museum and private collections including the Swiss National Museum, Zurich, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

‘Hortus Conclusus’ 2018, Dye Sublimation Print on Aluminium mounted on glass over a Giclee Print on Hahnemuhle German Etching 310gsm, 925 Blackened Silver Brooch with hand faceted lucite mounted on a Dye Sublimation Print on Aluminium, and Opals.
(Photos top: Richard Valencia, above: 
Sophie Mutevelian)


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