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Student Voices

Student Spotlight | Breanna Gordon

By UALHalls 12 May 2023

Meet Breanna, a Fine Art Masters student at Camberwell. 🎨

Breanna is one of our Hall Reps at Archwood House and we spoke with her to find out a bit more about her practice. 

What are you studying and what made you come to UAL?

I’m studying at Camberwell College of Arts and am currently enrolled in the MA Fine Art Painting course.

The reason I chose UAL for my Masters was because of its international recognition in the art world as a place that can provide excellent opportunities for students during and after the course.

The structure of the course being primarily studio based, also appealed to me. I was eager to experience the vibrant art scene in London as an international student from Canada.

What made painting your chosen medium?

In my undergraduate degree in Canada I was given the opportunity to try sculpture, printmaking, painting and drawing, and I accepted that painting came most naturally to me, and I could fully realise my ideas on a canvas better than I could execute them in the form of a print or a sculpture.

I am a realism painter so I enjoyed the challenge of mimicking reality by gaining an understanding of colour and composition.

What is your artist statement?

My work is rooted in the exploration of realism and my interest in rendering the human figure with a likeness to nature.

Heavily informed by art historical representational painting, I merge the melodrama of the Italian Baroque with the Pre-Raphaelites sense of ethereality to create compositions that blur the line between reality and a dreamlike state.

Looking within and to other artists, writers and poets, I describe the feeling of perpetual anxiety through overwhelmingly busy compositions that see my subjects lost within intricate, layered patterns.

I have been using poetry as a vessel to inform my work, as it is often a source of rich visual imagery, and has been responded to in the past by the Pre-Raphaelites that I look to for inspiration.

Which artists do you look to for inspiration?

My primary references in my practice are from the Baroque and Pre-Raphealite movements, including Caravaggio, Artemisia Gentileschi, William Morris, and John Everett Millias.

I am interested in Caravaggio’s ability to dramatize significant moments by exaggerating light and darkness. I also study self portraiture so Artemisia’s embedded self portraits are intriguing to me.

In my practice I view the repetition of pattern and images as a metaphor for the repetition of thoughts, and William Morris’ perfected botanical arrangements echo this idea.

I am drawn to John Everett Millias’ paintings based on Shakespeare plays, as they really capture the essence of the poetry, which is what I am attempting to do also in my practice. 

If you want to follow Breanna or check more of her work, make sure to follow her Instagram @breannagordonartist.

Do you have a story to tell, or are you working on a project that you'd like to share? Our Student Spotlight series is just the place for you! For more information, DM us (@UAL_HallsLife) on Instagram. We'd love to hear from you!