Swedish inspired artist Ange Mullen Bryan

  • Sarah Surgey
  • 7th October 2015
  • A few months ago we showcased a British artist whose work is inspired by the Swedish landscape and the Nordic light which brings her subjects to life.

    We have been following Nordophile Ange Mullen-Bryan this year and as we are now firmly into Autumn we wanted to highlight some of her exhibitions which you may want to attend and see her work for yourself.

    For Nordophiles with an interest in art or the landscape of the Nordic lands these exhibitions may be of interest to you.


    Photo credit; Åsa Höjer

    She has been selected as a finalist for the National Open Art Prize 2015 and her painting Dark House will be hung in the subsequent exhibition of finalists at the Royal College of Art in London, starting in late October.

    Ange’s new painting Semblance has also been selected to hang in the 163rd Royal West of England Academy Autumn Open competition exhibition in Bristol which has opened in the last few days.

    21 October to 1 November 2015
    Monday to Saturday – 10am to 6pm
    Sunday 11am to 4pm


    My paintings are inspired by the lakes, forests and skies of a vast Swedish landscape and a very particular and illuminating Nordic light. I paint often remote and unpeopled wilderness. These paintings plot points on a journey; be it a physical or emotional one. As if I were looking for a map to navigate my way through this landscape, I let the act of painting lead me. I give myself up to the chaotic and emotional journey, compelling and uncertain.

    Red barns and homesteads; sharp and crackling branches lash against smooth snow with long red shadows and fierce pink skies.Hot lupins, dark pines, slippery, dripping lakes and quiet fires. Distant echoes of the groaning, warping and thumping of a lake trapped under ice.

    This is a land that becomes something closer to a scene from ancient myth or folklore, where the imagination runs away and the uncanny resides. Where the real and imagined co-exist and are often difficult to determine from one another. Here you find yourself beginning to believe that the little people of folk tales do come out at twilight.

    I am often enticed by precarious boundaries, where land meets lake and light meets dark. In these unsteady places, you are neither safe nor at risk but feel both at once.

    In the wilderness, I feel vulnerable in the face of nature and that seems rare and unusual in such a convenient world. You learn to respect nature and listen to it. This is both humbling and profound and it forces you to engage with forgotten instincts. I love feeling that intensity, it reminds me of the ancient nature of our evolution which shapes us.

    I work on coloured linens and canvases, leaving vast stretches unpainted, I drip and patch the thin veils and thick strokes of paint together. Colour and form knock, jar and rest against each other, a tangle makes a whole.

    I invite an escape into a kind of utopia, where you can smell freedom and pine in the air, a place I think I know. Yet I nod to the nagging impossibility of it and remind you that good fairy tales have a lesson within them. I tell darker tales and dress them up in the fabric, the costume, of colour and light. 


    Ange Mullen-Bryan 2015

    For more information head to angemullenbryan.com





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