Courtney Brooke (°1980, New England, United States) is a photographer and conceptual artist. She explores the ties of the feminine to nature and spirituality through the lens of nostalgia. Moments are depicted that only exist to punctuate human drama and clarify our cosmic existence, while finding the poetic meaning in everyday life.
Brooke’s photos establish a link between the landscape’s reality and that imagined by its conceiver. Her works focus on concrete questions that grapple with our existence. By emphasizing aesthetics, she creates work through labour-intensive processes as a personal exorcism ritual. Rather than presenting factual reality, her illusions conjure the realms of our imaginations.
Her works sometimes read as cold or bleak, but always with disconcerting beauty. The inherent seductive quality of the work, along with the conciseness of her exhibitions, add to the manifold layers of meaning. By referencing romanticism, feminism and various forms of symbolism, she investigates the dynamics of landscape, the manipulation of its effects and the limits of its spectacle based on our assumptions of what landscape is.
By contesting the division between the realm of memory and the realm of experience, Brooke absorbs the tradition of remembrance art into daily practice. This personal revival of a past tradition is important as an act of meditation.
Her works are often classified as part of the new romantic movement because of her focus on the local in an ever-globalizing world. However, this reference is not intentional, as this kind of art is part of the collective memory.
My work explores the relationship between the feminine, the natural world and spirituality.
With influences such as witchcraft, the romantics, mother earth and death, I am exploring what it is to exist in a human form.
Ever since I was an adolescent I have been fascinated by the unrelenting pressure of time and it’s relationship to beauty. What starts out as yearning soon becomes manipulated into a tragedy of temptation, leaving only a sense of nihilism and the prospect of a new beginning.
I strive to create a visual moment that urges the viewer to question spirituality, the human experience and one's own connection to the universe.