b.1975 Coalville, Leicestershire
1994-1997 BA (hons) Graphic Arts, Leeds Metropolitan University
1999-2001 MA Fine Art Painting, Slade School of Fine Art
Brotherhood’s work could be seen as part of a recent return to drawing: for him, drawing is a medium where things can be expressed honestly and without as much posturing and that sense of self-awareness that often hampers painting. This element of openness is important to Brotherhood since he is an artist who is creating artworks that express often complex, emotional states.
Brotherhood exploits the immediacy and its uncertain possibilities to express ideas from his imagination, his thoughts and moments. Nothing much is removed, and very little is hidden
The most consistent part of his artwork is its comedic sensibility, its understanding of humour. Brotherhood’s work is not necessarily funny, though this comic element is still contained in his work, made known by its absence perhaps, or in its failure to succeed; it can be found in the slapstick combinations of objects, deadpan images of common culture, the recurring throwback to another artwork, in the creation of an image that, in the process of its very creation, defeats itself, and comes to an unexpected end.
Sometimes his work is purposely unknowing, understated, even failing. His making of artwork can be seen as his attempt to explain his artwork through the next piece, a flawed endeavour whereby new work adds more complexity to the initial subject.
Brotherhood is particularly interested in the overused or worn-out image – as the forms evolve from the original, so also the original idea’s contexts become vague, leaving as their residue a surviving image that is simultaneously both meaningful and meaningless.
His work then is an ever-expanding collection of forms and images. He employs abstract shapes and colour, sourcing his imagination and emotional states, deploying clues that show, quite literally at times, the cracks. Working to express the anxiety of the every day/everyday and laying bare the process of the creation of art, he grapples with the mundanity of the day to day. Through the gaps and holes that comedy can create, visual messages are emitted, clues to help decipher what is really going on in there.
Like coded messages with a changing cypher, an inherited language is used to express and combat the heaviness of the everyday – and all is tinged with a little lightness of being.