Wayne Brookes + Lisa Garland


Ophthalmia and Hypermaximism are kindred spirits. One refers to inflammatory vision the other was a personal invention intended to describe extreme optical overload. Excess and obsession have always been the basic codes of my work and with this current show I feel like all of the layers of my practice have finally settled in the dust. Much like a fabulist, I tell stories about the spectacles I have witnessed and this time, within that translation, I found myself exorcising shadows from my childhood, fusing them with the persistent remnants of my passion for European theological indulgence.

It was a short stroll from my previous fascination for the Protestant ‘Drinking Horn’ to the ‘Nautilus Cup’ in terms of fuelling my enthrallment for extraordinary but absurd objects. St Nicholas in Prague, The Piaristenkirche in Vienna and Il Gesu in Rome returned as my Sirens as the fanatical residue had beckoned me since the 2007 “Revelations” show. Here the churches are re-tasked as giant entities of ostentation complete with aesthetic evisceration. Their vistal labyrinths are vivisected, echoing Johann Lucas Kracker, Franz Anton Maulbertsch and Baciccio.

The shrouded figure has also evolved into something more demonstrative; implying maternity, trepidation, veneration and anticipated carnality. They are pure theatre with the great outdoors supplanted by the great indoors. From grandmothers to Catholic Cathedrals to wallpapering with the Quadraturisti, surely it is time to change my name to Wayne Baroques.

Wayne Brookes, 2014


In an ever increasing age of gimmickry and pseudo-science & philosophy in the visual arts, it is a pleasure to view the images that Lisa Garland presents and interpret them via our own understanding without feeling uncertain as to what the artist intended.

The photographs are large, clear and filled with delightful detail. We are free to analyse and process the information, taking our time to linger because the contents of other people’s rooms are absolutely fascinating. We know our own house and perhaps the interiors of a few family and friends, but often wonder about others. If you are a policeman on some official business you may gain entry otherwise you could accompany Lisa, perhaps as her assistant.

We, the audience, become voyeurs.

Lisa is an eminent photographer whose exceptional technical skills developed over many years allow us unfettered access to her world and her changing interests. Her personality does not infringe. She, likes a good sporting commentator or umpire facilitates the game, untrammeled by technical considerations and other limitations.
We spend most of our lives trying to understand ourselves and to do this we observe others, (as well as birds and animals). To survive we need to know what is going on around us – to find out what other people are doing and why. How do other people live? The observations we make are innate although often sub-conscious. That is why these photographs are so appealing.

Eric Hiller, 2014