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Brenda Purtsak

  • Contemporary Art
  • MA
  • Sunset
  • Tutor: Alice Kask and Liina Siib
  • Oil paint, canvas, modeling clay, rope, plywood
  • Dimensions vary

The biological human body is at the heart of my art practice, with which I work in the frontiers between abstraction and the body. This form represents a bridge between human nature and nature itself. The created painting surfaces have begun from reflections on nature or the processes of the body. Since the body in its composition covers both the inner and outer surface, I use both in my work. At the moment I am trying to touch on the boundaries between human and nature through the decomposition processes of the body. I regard such a process as a ritual of nature that is taking back something that is its own.

The practical part of the dissertation is an installable exhibition that consists of paintings and sculptures and began with the sunset shining through the studio window and a fragile remnant of a butterfly that let the sunset play on its wings. Hence the name “Sunset” which refers to the last decay of the body. Through the harmony of materials, I create an altar-like feeling in the exhibition hall, in the course of which I once again consecrate the human form into one with nature. In this way, the painting in the centre of the altar can be seen in the form of a human remains, which sinks towards the ground for the last time in the background of the sunset. There are only two lungs left, a chest and a bunch of clogged blood. The chest is surrounded on both sides by limbs, which show signs of loss of flesh, exposing the bones in places. The extension to the three canvases is two pedestals, on which the painted internal body landscapes hold bones and other organs made of modeling clay and plaster, into which even real human teeth have got lost. The altar is surrounded on the one side by a curtain of organs hung with a rope and on the other side by a cut-off human body that still looks fresh on the canvas.

Detail from painting.
Detail from painting.
Studio view from painting.
Detail view from the altar (detail).
The limbs that surround the painting in the center of the altar.
The limbs that surround the painting in the center of the altar.
Detail from painting.
Center painting of the altar.