Michael Brown, currently exhibiting with Shape for the first time at our Westfield Stratford gallery, gives us an insight into his artistic practice.

Michael Brown How would you describe your work?

Most recently, I have begun honing my style using specific materials for sculpture and drawings. I love people and history so I often try to combine the two in my works, not just conceptually but also with the choice of materials, such as using clippings of newspaper articles from historical events in my drawings. The same can be said about my sculpture, for which I use very traditional methods of workmanship like marquetry and ceramics. I like to know the subject first before I commence a drawing or sculpture as it's in my nature to be very inquisitive, perhaps because of my deafness.

What would you say are your main influences and inspirations?

I have too many influences and inspirations to list, but I will give it a go. My initial inspiration was probably Rodin. In sixth form I had an infatuation with his works, which started with studying his craftsmanship and then his philosophies. He intrigued me as an artist as he was always pushing the boundaries of imperfection; the stone he carved his sculptures from was often limited in size, or contained a crack, for example. He was then able to create an extraordinary piece of work from that imperfect stone and make it almost an object of perfection. I embrace this philosophy in my own practice too. My other influences include blacksmithing and fabrication, which I practised for two years after graduation. Both my great grandfathers were craftsmen, one being a stonemason and the other a cabinet maker who produced beautiful marquetry. This is the reason why I use both of these mediums in my work. Other great influencers of my work are artists Grayson Perry, Vincent Van Gogh, Mark Wallinger and Edvard Munch.


How would you like people to respond to your work?

I would like them to enjoy it, ask questions of it and interact with the work.


What are you working on next?

I am working on a series of sculptures for the Other Art fair, which promises to be very interesting. I don’t want to say too much, but it involves the Beatles and the Magna Carta.  I have also finished illustrating for a magazine which was great fun. On top of that, I am creating various new drawings and canvas works.

Michael's work is part of an exhibition on now at Shape Gallery, Westfield Stratford, that showcases both emerging and established disabled artists. Find out more and how to see Michael's work for yourself by clicking here. 

Banner image: Michael Brown 'Reality TV'
Inset image: Michael Brown 'Maurice'