The name ‘White Nurse’ is a slang term for heroin and morphine. The exhibition Blair Brennan: White Nurse presents a series of 20 artworks that portray Brennan’s battle and rehabilitation from the addiction to prescription pain medication.
The coloured ink and burned paper artworks feature words and phrases emphasizing key emotions, concepts and realities associated with addiction. The inner world and the inner struggle is clearly, and at the same time vaguely, put to paper. The series’ specific use of burned paper as a mark-making tool is fitting because, unlike a pencil that can be erased from paper, it creates a lasting and permanent impression.
Brennan has been making branding irons since 1987. Brennan’s steel branding irons are in every way similar to the sort of branding iron that would be used on livestock and his previous work has burned words and symbols into various support materials like books, paper, gallery walls and animals skins. In Brennan’s writing he chooses steel and fire over pen and paper. The exhibition is a sort of stream of consciousness word association and relies heavily on several sources.
This body of work is from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts collection.
Curated by Todd Schaber, Art Gallery of Grande Prairie (TREX Region 1)
20 art works
60 running feet