When photographer Iryna Brown was a student, she was influenced by the work of the Magic Realists—authors such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Jorge Luis Borges, who took objects and structures from daily existence and placed them in new relationships that transformed them. Brown, who was born in Siberia but now lives and works in England, carries on the same kind of challenging and experimental transformations in her work. In images that have the clarity, balanced compositions and full, rounded colors as classical still life paintings, she creates scenes that defy the laws of logic while still maintaining the contours of reality. She says that in her art, she pursues the goal of revealing and appreciating the beauty that can be found in the ordinary. “This ability,” she notes, “makes the habitual unique.”
What is perhaps most impressive about Brown’s images is that she realizes them without the assistance of cutting-edge digital manipulation. Often starting from a pencil sketch that sets out an idea, she takes most of her photographs on her dining-room table with just natural light, a tripod and a few silver boards that she employs to adjust shadows. The resulting works have an immediacy and physical presence that make their dreamlike scenarios all the more impressive.