Born in 1983, Brooke Inman grew up in the small town of DeMotte, Indiana. Brooke is a nature enthusiast who loves animals, especially her cat (Ellie). She is currently adjunct faculty at University of Richmond in the Department of Art + Art History, and at Virginia Commonwealth University in the Painting + Printmaking Department. She also teaches in the Richmond community at Studio Two Three and the Visual Arts Center. Specializing in Intaglio, Screen Print, Zine-making, Drawing, and Color, Brooke received her BFA in Printmaking from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2006, and her MFA in Painting + Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2008.
“My work develops from the desire to connect with others, the importance of being honest, and compassion. Through persistent questioning of the self, the work is constructed out of rudimentary writing and drawing, traditional printmaking techniques, collecting, and installation. I embrace printmaking’s history of calling people to political action, and its ability to disseminate information by utilizing the multiple. As one experiment in the studio leads to another, the work becomes all of the energy that went into creating. Constructed with a do it yourself attitude, reflective and immediate drawing done on paper with humble materials collapses the challenges of high art into an everyday personal experience. By choosing to use familiar materials, and have the process be transparent, the viewer may feel connected to something larger than themselves.
Through obsessive organization, heightened awareness of detail, and close observation the work lifts one out of the habitual everyday world. Issues, such as the desire for personal connection, fear of loneliness, longing for perfection, and the health of our planet, are balanced between the naiveté of appearance and complexity of concept. Including private thoughts (the personal) with larger questions about humanity (the public) and the health of our planet (the natural), the work reflects my pursuit of understanding. The monotony of these banal understandings and weaknesses becomes a mirror for the viewer. It is this loss of consciousness that makes it unclear whether the presence of emotion is the artist’s, the subject’s, or your own.
Wilderness backpacking has allowed me to realign what is necessity: sustainability, the health of our planet, clean water, and fresh locally grown food. Gardening and fishing have proven valuable in respecting where our food comes from. In our culture, it is difficult to avoid convenience or disposable packaging and the many products that have been imported. I strive to be connected to the natural world, and conscientious of the resources I consume.
Focusing on the disconnection many Americans have with the natural world, I examine and reflect the interaction between perceptions and reality. This introspective examination crafts a complex vision filled with universal anxieties, hopes, fears, and yearnings. The work documents an individual’s journey to get closer to something outside of oneself. There is an open invitation for everyone to be included in this pursuit. The content of the work is often reflective of self-doubt and vulnerability. Woven with conviction, it captures the feelings of being lost, defeated, maladjusted, open, and idealistic; while recognizing the desire for connection, love, and affirmation.”