Author Archives: Alex Brew

About Alex Brew

Artist, activist and Focusing Practitioner. I've shown artwork at Bergen Art Museums (now KODE), Norway, Performing Arts Forum (PAF, France), No.w-here (Bethnal Green, London), Housmans Radical Bookshop, RampARTs, Kings College London, IoE, ArtsBar, CritSex, Mama Lovey's and more. My work has been archived by MAKE and the British Library.

The lake is expanding, the feather falling slower than it should. The leaves are waving. There’s a calling into space. The space that you can maneuver yourself into with a shoulder. Ever so gently. The space when the sun lights a patch and overhead starts to twinkle. The space when a berry ripens plump and lush inviting you to the picking.

Something beyond the verbal slow burns into silence and caves and dropping away from productivity towards experience. The felt. The misunderstood. The non-knowledge.  The becoming mute. The rejecting. The multiple layers of understanding. Following a trail of trial and error connections to the environment. Some sense of attention. Makes my cells smile. Feel the thing growing from within me – organically taking shape –as all life grows.

My artwork has taken many twists and turns. What connects it all is a want to explore my emotional landscape and stay on the boundaries of external and internal worlds. I was very involved in feminist and queer art-making for several years until I took a long solo pilgrimage that led me away from concepts and deeper into experience and nature. I craved connection, with myself and the world around me. This blog is pulling all the elements of my portfolio together in one place. There are films, photographs, paintings, writings and drawings.


Oil Painting of Hampstead Heath 2019

When the trees speak, listen. Oil paintings from photographs taken during naturally occurring altered states. Receptivity to non human states. What sort of connection do I want? Exploitative or contemplative/philosophical/gaining self and world understanding.

Trying to get across the bodily feel of looking at particular environments through the paint. Trying to get into a meditative way of looking at the thing in front of me.

There are multiple layers of understanding. There’s the mind’s way of understanding. Analytical or process based understanding. There’s learning and memory. And there are deeper layers that exist on the body and in its energetic fields. You can get really dense clumps of energy maybe around your chest or throat when you’re upset or you can get a lighting up and feel of flowing energy when you have a new insight or are following a trail.

There are physical understandings too – like when you learn how to do something and then when it starts to become automatic like playing the piano or drawing/painting or driving

And there are understandings that come from experience – a kind of empathic understanding of situations that people or things can be in from similar experiences we’ve had or by putting self in their shoes. Understandings can come from putting yourself in particular situations. From making certain decisions.

Understandings can come from connections. A sort of linking into.

From trial and error.

The paintings are a way of following a trail and of trial and error connections to the environment. To my own felt sense of switching on – to God really. Not god with a capital G. More like some sense of attention and a feeling of an all-pervasive, benevolent spirit that seems to exist in the trees and the breeze moving through them. There’s a receptivity and trust that I get into and a putting myself on the back burner. Just waiting for what wants to be known. That can be anything – like the trail of learning… things that come that lead you in particular directions. Different directions to the next person.