Explorations of Brown, 2016–
Ronan Mckenzie’s Explorations of Brown is an ongoing project rooted in her deeply personal need to understand and appreciate the colour brown, as both concept and point of origin. ‘Brown,’ Mckenzie explains, ‘encompasses visual attributes, the richness of natural texture and the complexity of emotion, but also trapped within are hundreds of years of connotations and history, including much trauma.’
Mckenzie began the project subconsciously in 2016, as a natural evolution of her practice. When transferring from 35 mm to 120 mm film, she purchased a 90 mm lens, which allowed her to take portraits at close range and in turn sparked a new interest in skin and texture. She began to engage with the project more deliberately in 2018, and it has expanded to encompass work in media including photographs, video, paint, ceramics and garments.
Presented here under the title Explorations of Brown for the first time, the work encourages the viewer to consider the sound, hues and images evoked by the colour brown and to question the sociopolitical preconceptions that influence these instinctive reactions.
Mckenzie was born in London in 1994, where she still lives and works.