I have chosen to construct work using a reduced or minimal palette and brush work. I am interested in duality and use opposite elements including black, white, dot and line and horizontals and verticals. Line has always mattered and varies by brush weight or pressure and speed and transgressions from the true horizontal and vertical of the picture plain. The meaning of my work lies in the methodology and my choice of materials particularly evident in my painterly patterning and the employment of economy and directness intrinsic to the Australian tradition to ‘make do’. Natural environmental processes including weathering, architectural details and ‘found marks’ observed on surfaces in the city also inform the work. Each step of my painting process is intuitive and repetitive until the work is imbued with a sense of harmony and balance.
Terri Brooks studied at RMIT University and in 2010 graduated with a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Ballarat. In 2014 Brooks exhibited in Direction Now, a major touring group exhibition first staged at Port Macquarie’s Glasshouse Regional Gallery. Direction now responded to the Direction 1 exhibition of 1956, the first exhibition in Australia to legitimise abstraction. In 2006 she participated in a government funded artist workshop in North East Germany and in 2009 was invited to exhibit at the State Gallery of Neubrandenburg, officially opened by the Australian Embassy, Berlin.
Brooks has held over twenty five solo exhibitions and has participated in shows in public, university, commercial and artist runs spaces including art fairs nationally and in the US, UK, The Netherlands, Italy, Germany, China, New Zealand, Poland and Greece. She has been selected several times as a finalist for the Fleurieu Art Prize and the Tattersall’s Landscape Art Prize, and finalist in the Kedumba Drawing Award and Alice Prize and awarded a BP Acquisitive Award in 1992 and an Australia Council Grant in 1991. Her work is held in the collection of the Neubrandenburg Museum, Germany and private and corporate collections around the world. For more than ten years her works have been incorporated into homes designed by leading interior designers and architects (including award winning interiors). In 2018 she completed two major commissions for the Westin, Perth and Four Points by Sheraton, Central Park, Sydney. Brooks is currently represented in Australia and the United Kingdom.
Gems, Flinders Lane Gallery, Melbourne, 2020
To explain the recent Westin Perth commission Brooks wrote: ‘Veiled Dots and Lines, 2018, was developed over months from repetitive intuitive layering and wiping back all but essential pencil and paint marks. The final piece references no place or time over than its own, as one might ponder the remnants of ancient markings in the landscape or what is revealed by peeling paint from a city wall.’
Tacit Galleries, Melbourne 2019
Download exhibition catalogue
'Marked by Time' excerpt, 2003, Andrea Lloyd and Kevin Brophy
In her childhood Terri Brooks was fascinated by the wallpaper in her bedroom which was browned, stained, spotted – marked by time. Sometimes she added her own marks to the outside walls of her home, blending them with the traces of age, working with the beauty of neglect. Her grandfather, a part-time house painter, gave Terri the task of cleaning his brushes against the corrugated iron wall of his backyard shed. Entranced by thinned paints and rusted iron in the sunlight, this wall became an ongoing painting for her.
The first large all white field painting was completed in 1987 as an under graduate. Inspired by the work of Antoni Tapies who referenced walls in his paintings (often for spiritual reasons – including the contemplation of a void). Titled ‘My Grandfather’s wall’, it was based on my childhood memory of our shed where I often played after school. My references then were the light linear works of American artist Mark Tobey and Alberto Giacometti. It was not until the mid-1990s that I discovered the works of Cy Twombly who himself was influenced by Giacometti’s paintings and sculpture.
Cronache del Mezzogiorno, Italy. July 19, 2021
Veiled Dots and Lines, 2018, oil, enamel and pencil on canvas, 280 x 180 cm.
My Grandfather's Wall, 1987.