Michael Brennand-Wood (b.1952) is nationally and internationally regarded as one of the most innovative and inspiring artists working in textiles today.
When Worlds Collide is, remarkably, the first solo exhibition of Brennand-Wood's textile and embroidery work in his home region of East Anglia, despite having exhibited extensively worldwide. This exciting new collaboration has two parts – this exhibition at Smiths Row and an off-site floral project in Bury St Edmunds for spring 2015 with Bury in Bloom.
The exhibition title When Worlds Collide refers to the continuing influence of world events upon Brennand-Wood's thinking and artistic practice. This is particularly pertinent in the centenary of the First World War as much of his work explores how conflict, both military and cultural, impacts our lives and attitudes.
Widely known for his bold use of colour and pattern to attract and engage the viewer, Brennand-Wood's politically charged imagery often only reveals its stories on close examination. His seductive visual language often uses flowers, embroidered and real, as the basis of harmonious and striking compositions. These formal arrangements and repeated motifs resonate with military traits of uniformity and order.
Brennand-Wood fuses western military references with traditional eastern Islamic patterns of Central and South East Asia. This bringing together of cultural motifs offers an alternative to the focus on difference and opposition in the conflicts he reflects upon.
A defining characteristic of Brennand-Wood's work has been a sustained commitment to the synthesis of contemporary and historical sources. He believes that the most innovative contemporary textiles emanate from an understanding of both textile technique and history and has explored and developed his own techniques, inventing many new and imaginative ways of integrating textiles with other media.
Examples of Michael Brennand-Wood's work can be seen in major public, corporate and private collections worldwide including the Victoria and Albert Museum, the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa and National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.