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Miranda Donovan

by Leonora Oppenheim in Culture on 07 March 2007

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British artist Miranda Donovan apparently finds herself at a dead end on a daily basis. In this case it's not a lack of inspiration but rather a source of it, leading her to an interesting interpretation of landscape painting.

Expanses of brick wall cover her canvases almost like the enormous skies of Dutch landscape paintings, with graffiti hovering like heavy clouds. The small detailed landscapes at the bottom of the canvas appear dwarfed by the towering solidity of the wall, creating an almost claustrophobic atmosphere. These works remind me of the moment in The Truman Show when Truman believes he is escaping by sailing off into the distance only to crash his boat into a wall of sky moments later. (Click images for detail.)

By contrasting the language of traditional rural landscape paintings with the language of street art Miranda says she is “bringing various issues into conflict. Have the boundaries, of city versus country, in our modern world become blurred? Are our ever expanding cities posing a threat to natural environments? Or is it just graffitists having fun?!!!” Miranda is reversing the graffiti artist’s process of taking art out into the streets by pulling the loose style of street art into the more constructed and refined world of fine art. It’s a provocative mix.

Miranda Donovan is one of the many artists who have submitted their work for the Saatchi Gallery Showdown; a competition for Your Gallery and Stuart Gallery artists where artworks go head to head in a public vote. You can see her Your Gallery page here and vote for Miranda’s work here until the end of this week.

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