With wide ranging formal interests Brenda Nightingale's practice never stays still for long. Her energetic and adventurous attitude to the development of various working methods and styles of expression over the last decade has produced a range of discrete bodies of work that are unafraid to tackle difficult techniques or deal with evasive conceptual concerns. Yet, in spite of what might first appear as a chaotic or irreverent practice, Nightingale's oeuvre ultimately provides a persuasive and compelling range of offerings that deal intimately with emerging or transforming subjectivities and emotive scenes.
Taking her cue from the fresh faces of a bunch of art school compatriots, for RAMP Nightingale installs a sequence of portraits deftly and patiently realised in watercolour. Here T-shirt insignia, affiliative ornaments and vintage op-shop finds read more easily than the expressions and demeanour of most of Nightingale's subjects. But these cared for crutches and stylistic smokescreens won't hold viewers at arms reach for long as the fragility and poignancy of these 20somethings emerges through Nightingale's thoughtful and expertly realised observations.
Brenda Nightingale completed her M.F.A. in Painting at the University of Canterbury in 2008. She has shown with Jonathan Smart Gallery since 1999 and has also exhibited at The Physics Room, Centre of Contemporary Art, The Robert McDougall Art Gallery, The High Street Project in Christchurch as well as participating in The Otira Project in 1999.
Recent solo exhibitions include: Twin Peaks, The Physics Room (2008); and at Jonathan Smart Galleries: Nightingale (2008); Dis-possessed (2005); Way Out West (2004) and The Vermilion Paintings (2002). Publications/artist's books include: Nightingale (2008), Twin Peaks (2008), Way Out West (2004) and Pictures of Knitting (1997).