Gemma Browne's art practice involves making paintings and drawings of 'unreal' characters, such as dolls, children and fashion models. These subjects exude strength, fragility, dreaminess and a cultural knowingness and seem to possess a 'self' awareness as they 'gaze' at their viewer. Though beautiful or cute, they are also vaguely sinister. There is a disquietude or otherness to them, as if they don't entirely inhabit this world!
The artist's attachment to toys/dolls as subjects, hints at an unbroken link to the imagination of childhood. As the child gazes into the doll's face, the artist also focuses on the faces and enlarged eyes of her subjects. These subjects, mostly female, may in some way be stand-ins for the artist herself. They are never studies of any actual person but rather it is as if they are a kind of mimesis of an inner world. They are also a manifestation of the external world as the artist bases her work on quite artificial images from photos, magazines, old books and popular culture.
Her approach to the drawing and painting of these subjects adds a human element or personality to them.
She has made large installations of groups of small drawings and paintings of models' faces, doll 'portraits', large acrylic paintings on canvas and works a lot on paper , both drawing and painting with mixed media and water based paints.
Browne was born in London and lives and works in Dublin.
She did an M.A Fine Art in 1993 at the Birmingham Institute of Art+Design, UK and has exhibited in Ireland, England, Belgium, Austria and Spain. Shows include: Into the Light-The Arts Council-60 Years of Supporting the Arts, Crawford Gallery, Cork, Eurojet Futures, RHA , Dublin, Sleepwalkers-Future Perfect, The Hugh Lane, Dublin, Pallas Contemporary Projects, Dublin, Nylon Gallery, London, Passing Through at Lewis Glucksman Gallery,Cork, and ARCO Projects,Madrid.