Nellien Brewer is well known for her birds in various techniques, ranging from oil painting, etching, to her very unique, signature look, where she uses words to build an image.
“I am fascinated by complexity in nature. Life exists in contrast with the laws of physics which hold that systems inevitably break down to reduced complexity. The theory of evolution contrasts with the creation story accepted by most religions, and this paradox has been my conceptual focus since 2007.
From a religious point of view, the Bible says that ‘In the beginning was the Word’. The notion that the ‘beginning’ was something abstract like a thought (or words) seems to be confirmed by the fact that algorithms can be used to explain most systems or patterns in nature but cannot be written to describe abstract thought.
‘The Word’ has therefore become a metaphor for the intricate codes underlying all natural systems. In my work, I juxtapose both Biblical and secular philosophical writings against the patterns and systems of the natural world. Digital drawing facilitates a level of detail impossible to achieve by hand, and evokes the (often invisible) intricacies of natural systems. As the typing of each word is extremely time-consuming, I am only able to produce approximately 1 text work per year.”
She was born in Greytown, KwaZulu-Natal in 1961, where after she qualified as a Landscape Architect from the University of Pretoria in 1982, and spent the next 20 years in this profession, however, Fine Arts always remained her first love, and she enrolled for the BVA degree at UNISA which she completed in 2011.
She has since had many national and International exhibitions, and dare we say, we are fans!