The Mildred Hawn Gallery


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Artist Statement


      The desire to embellish a surface, whether it is the carving of a
facade on an ancient temple or the enhancement of skin with cosmetics, is a universal drive that has been documented through anthropological
evidence and shown to have existed in every culture throughout every
age. I respond to this idea by creating mixed media drawings and
paintings using ornament as a tool to make suggestions about the nature
of narrative structure. I layer appropriated shapes into a cluster of
ornaments that by recombination are placed within a new conceptual
     I draw highly decorative arrangements of shapes to be embedded with unexpected motifs that are in reference to an enigmatic story
continuously changing as it unfolds. For instance, the outline of a
high-heeled boot or a pair of handcuffs alters the context of meaning
in a surprising way when placed alongside a fragment of a 14th century
Italian textile design. I seek to produce work that is beautiful and
entertaining while functioning to slowly reveal a conceptual space for
the contemplation of how a story might be structured without a
beginning, middle or end. I hope to inspire the intellectual
creativity of the viewer to bare new stories or meanings out of the
psychological experience of seeing.

Nancy Brown
Summer 2006

a trestle is a railroad bridge over water,

mixed media on paper, 50"h x 38"w, 2006.


aerial view of the backyard

mixed media on paper, 12"h x 9"w, 2005

*not included in this exhibit

The Hawn Gallery is part of the Hamon Arts Library of Southern Methodist University