Struck by the strong colours and bold themes of Bravelion and his ‘House of Revelation’ collection, I asked him to talk about comics, totem poles – and why he really likes things go that go bang…
My name is Brave Lion in Swahili. It honours each aspects of my Cherokee, African and British Lineage.
You call your studio the ‘House of Revelation’ – is the revelation yours, or your viewers?
House of Revelation is the name of the collection of large scale works I have completed over the past year, this is the first time they are being showcased together in one exhibition. The works are about perception, using pen and pencil on paper to communicate a subject matter that can have multiple layers of meaning, creating a “portal” that is as deep as the viewer wants it to be, like all good art it functions as a mirror.
There’s a very strong comic-book motif to a lot of your art. Are you a comics reader?
Yes, but long before as an 11 year old I remember reading Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End, and it blew my mind. At that time I was living in the United States for the first time in Southern California, it was quite a culture shock, but on Saturday mornings the X-Men cartoon came on TV. I picked up comics infrequently, but It wasn’t until I read Grant Morrisons The Invisibles, that I became really interested again.
Time is accelerating, we are processing more information faster and faster, I find it fascinating that a lot of what was once science fiction is now reality, and integrated into our lives, constructs which simply didn’t exist twenty years ago.
We are bombarded with advertising, propaganda, and things to entertain/ distract us. I’m interested in visualizing the unseen forces, be they mental, chemical, spiritual, physical, or social; which constantly surround us, influence, and inform us.
We find it increasingly hard to switch off / unplug. These drawings are a form of de-programming sigils. To allow the viewer to experience a moment and be at the center of it.
Firstly I create structures using line, the colour is the way I can communicate a complex, unexplainable, magnificent, thing without words. On such a large scale it becomes very sub-concious and takes on a life of its own, its very vivid and dreamlike at the same time, its optimistic and I hope captures the imagination.
Do you ever work in 3D – sculpting or toy-creation?
Yes, I just exhibited my first large scale sculpture a 16ft tall totem pole entitled “Peace Offering”. I love character design, and the research and development that goes into it. I’m working on a series of storyboards and scripts, 2011 is going to be an exciting year.
I went to art school in London. We did live briefs for Selfridges, and The Institute of Contemporary Arts, amongst others.During my degree I got to study in Berlin for 6 months, which was such an amazing experience. I went on to do work on several magazines, ending up in Los Angeles for a stint doing art direction and designing, before arriving in Miami where I currently reside. I still consider London my home away from home.
And where do you see it going?
Hopefully forward, progressing and developing in productive and unexpected ways. I am fascinated with the concept of Beginner’s Mind, and applying it to all forms of learning, and understanding, and always asking questions, investigating and exploring.
Thanks to Bravelion for the interview – you can see more of his portfolio here.