An artist at Yellow Barn

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Yellow Barn welcomes Peter Bruun, artist, educator, curator, and community activist, as a resident artist on Yellow Barn's campus at the Greenwood School. Since 2014 Peter has devoted his life to creating and launching New Day Campaign. This summer his four weeks on campus provide a framework for new pathways, both revisiting and creating pieces, linked by the shared, palpable urgency to create that permeates Yellow Barn.

A full-time member of the community, Peter has been visiting rehearsals and attending performances, sketching and recording his thoughts at his blog Below is his entry "Introduction". We invite you to share in his process, leave a comment, and come to the Big Barn to hear the works that he is exploring in his blog.

I do not know the name of the piece I was listening to in an instructional class with pianists when I began this sketch — a composition with pianos, bells, and whistling. But I want to share something of my artistic and thematic interest in this post:

Most of the images in this blog (if not all) are from a sketchbook I have brought with me to Yellow Barn — a sketchbook to initiate whatever my next project is to be. While ostensibly inspired by the music and musicians here at Yellow Barn, it is perhaps more accurate to say my time here is an excuse and milieu to get me started. A fine setting, for musical relationship is key to Yellow Barn, and for months I’ve been wanting to explore relationship in my work.

For many years, my abiding fascination has been singular identity — my own and others. The work I’ve made has derived from self-portraiture — the key words here being “derived from,” for my self is largely absent from any end product; self-portraiture has been a way in to the more universal subject of “self” overall.

But that focus on identity has changed, and I am now intent in relationships, as my own personal relationships become less definable and more… confusing. I more and more experience pain and love as flip-sides of the same coin, and in my work am trying to come to terms not only with this, but also with the ambiguity of relationship period. I’m not sure how exactly my drawings are doing that, but it feels as thought that’s the terrain I’m just beginning to mine.

Significant is the figurative basis of these new sketches (no longer am I looking at my head in the mirror as the jumping point) — figures I sketch while sitting in rehearsals here at Yellow Barn. What more intense a relationship to have as a spring board than that between musicians, jointly sharing in interpretation of beautiful and melancholic and mysterious music?

So this sketch — in ways I’ve yet to fathom — drives into this space of relationship. The work has both a private and public life, of course, and meaning for me may not be meaning for you, and that’s fine. So — please accept the above sketch and all others in these posts as an offering for consideration, and my words an invitation to connecting.

—Peter Bruun