Painting

Bierenbroodspot re-creates a past in our own time perspective, allowing each epoch to be influenced by later, as well as earlier levels of meaning. She puts down layer upon layer of paint as if each were an archaeological stratum carrying its own message, with its own force and vitality. Yet there is nothing of the archaeologist about Bierenbroodspot. There is no intellectual pretension. Rather, she reinterprets what her eye remembers, letting her own feelings act directly on the fragments which remain of the past.

Folding screens

VICTORY I: TIMELESS HEROES OF THE PARTHENON

VICTORY II: WAR OF WINGED GIANTS

VICTORY III

Lepcis Magna

See bigger pictures of Bierenbroodspot work Lepcis Magna

The Emperor’s Dream

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Sabratha

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Space which we can never enter

Bierenbroodspot is an intensely European painter, allusive, without blunt statements, where half-hidden objects emerge slowly into the spectator’s view. She makes us feel the space which we can never enter. It has a mummified beauty which, while coming back into view, invites its own redestruction. This is an artist with roots, in the Renaissance and in Holland’s own Golden Age. Look at her whites, a white light which flits in the background. It is the thundery white of the Dutch sky, the same white which lights up the work of all Dutch masters. But, typically, old pigments are put to new uses. She adds marble powder, making more than a pigment. The whites glow naturally, changing with the changing light, as if the scene is still alive.

In each painting, Bierenbroodspot gives us a frozen moment, a flash of light which lets us look deeply into a room almost totally effaced by time. But we spectators are then blocked, by a perspective ending in nothingness, or by an impenetrable wall; we are closed off and rarely are allowed even temporary entry into the next ruined room. There is irony too in the contrast of the dry heat and the glare outside where we, the spectators, stand, and the cool damp of the empty space inside. She juxtaposes her own distortions of the memory of a ruined villa, or a fallen wall, or mixes two sketches to allow the images to emerge each in their own time.

Painterly technique

As always, Bierenbroodspot is intensely interested in painterly technique. Tempera pigments are used to create a fresco-like effect on canvas. Pure aquarelle paint is absorbed instantly on hand-made Chinese rice paper rubbed in with dry cement and then over-painted with acrylic. Gilded wood becomes bronze. As in her images, she mixes old techniques with a totally modern imagination.

This is what she remembers. An utterly silent landscape, or a garden of delights. A mixture of near Baroque lavishness and an austere restraint which avoids dramatic shadows. A world in short, a painterly world, which we have never seen before.

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