A.J. Brown is participating in the Painters Landing on August 5 and 6, 2009 from 10 am until 4 pm. A.J. is one of 24 visual artists involved in this new program. It is under the tent at the Ferry Building Gallery, 1414 Argyle Avenue, West Vancouver. Painters Landing allows artists to show, sell and paint on site. Artists come from Deep Cove, to Bowen Island, and West Vancouver to Squamish. This is a free event. It is part of the Harmony Arts Festival of West Vancouver.
A.J. Brown started to explore various arts in 1999, as a way to overcome personal fears. One of these was a nightmare she had as a child. This dream is a parable of her life: I’m at the bottom of a well, looking up. I see the Sesame Street puppets with their mouths opening and closing. I have a feeling of no way out. I can’t yell for help, because no one understands my speech. This is such a feeling of helplessness!
A.J. Brown had a brain injury during birth. This brain injury caused her to become Deaf and to have something that looks like Cerebral Palsy. As a result, she has difficulty speaking and using sign language coherently. However, she uses a portable communication device which speaks for her, when she types out her words in written English. She uses email and sign language interpreters to communicate as well.
A.J. is self taught. She works with acrylics, pencil, charcoal, pen, pastels, felt pen, collage, scratch art, and her cat. She was also a potter, writer, poet, actress, dancer, music composer, and musician. She created, wrote, produced, directed, and edited a video. She even wrote and illustrated a book, titled, My Voice: A Journey of Creativity, Courage and Hope, in 2004. This book contains her short stories, poetry and art. She sometimes mixes these media to create something. Each piece of her art is unique. She paints slowly and meticulously for one, and fast and impatient for another. Each has its own personality: One will have vibrant, wild, lush colours, and another will have shy, withdrawn, tame, muted colours. Some are whimsical, and others are serious. Her work shows how she feels right at the moment of creation. To borrow a quote from her aunt, A.J.’s art has a childlike naiveté – and not contrived. I think it was Picasso who said the most wondrous art is that done by children – bold, courageous and honest.
With her arts and through her images, she can be heard. A.J. believes this is her way to freedom and spirituality. Most importantly, art is her way out of that well. She resides in West Vancouver, with her gorgeous cat, Rumbles.
Her art website is: www.handsandpurrs.ca