I’m sitting on a train between Xi’an and Shanghai.  It’s a soviet era model, with wood paneling and benches that clearly once shone with the gloss of varnish, though now look raw and stained.   Bodies against bodies from seat to door, there’s little I can do but look through the section of window I’ve staked out as mine.  A ride that was meant to be twelve hours is now reaching twenty-two.  The scene outside my window is what one might expect; fields and farmers, simple homes, sheep, cattle, and the intermittent suburb repeated with little variation.  After a number of hours staring passively outside, I notice a small house on a curving road, and I am instantly transported to a long forgotten memory.  I realized at that moment my interest in painting is not about specific rooms, places, or things and the memories experienced there, but in the ability through memory for time, space and meaning to converge, contract and enrich each other.  Being in a foreign place, exhausted, hungry, and cramped in a seat I cannot leave, did nothing to limit memory’s capacity for continuity between seemingly disparate events.

In the act of looking back at memories there is an inherent shuffling of time, place and importance.  What was once seemingly unimportant becomes quite important, events that took place in one location are transported to another, and the overall chronology bends and shifts.  My current work is a focused remembrance of outwardly insignificant events, how they overlap, merge and add personal weight to other memories that have preceded or followed.   Searching memories allows for a consideration of what makes them central, and how they are positioned within a greater context.  During this search one is able to step back and see the permeability of experience.  In a time when technology has allowed an almost immediate distribution of ideas and events, where connections are being drawn between eating habits and pop icons, the map that might diagrams one’s experience is increasingly multifarious.  I want to step back, take a look around, and ask the question, is everything all right here?

About Andrew Brown:

Andrew grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of educators.  In 2005, he completed his B.A. with Honors in painting at Towson University.  After completing his degree, He moved to Shanghai, China for the next four years, working as an English instructor at several different Universities and schools.  Upon acceptance to Louisiana State University for graduate school, he moved back to the States. He completed his M.F.A. in painting and drawing during the Spring of 2013, receiving the Dean's Medal for academic excellence. After completing his degree he worked as an adjunct instructor of foundations at L.S.U.   He is currently a full-time Instructor of Foundations and Graduate Faculty at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton.