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A.J. Brown started to explore various arts in 1999, as a way to overcome personal fears. One of these was a nightmare she had as a child. This dream is a parable of her life: ``I`m at the bottom of a well, looking up. I see the Sesame Street puppets with their mouths opening and closing. I have a feeling of no way out. I can`t yell for help, because no one understands my speech. This is such a feeling of helplessness!``
She is Deaf. She has difficulty speaking and using sign language coherently because of a brain injury at birth. She uses a portable device which speaks when she types out written English. She alse utilizes email and sign language interpreters to communicate,
Creating is A.J.`s way to express her soul-voice in a way to which others can hear and respond. When she creates, it feels like something spiritual guides her. She needs to continue on her spiritual path, and that is through expressing herself. Art connects her to her Spiritual Self. Her art flows from her Spiritual Self.
A.J. is self taught. She works mostly with acrylics, and uses other media. She is formerly a potter, writer, poet, actress, dancer, music composer, and musician. She created, wrote, produced, and directed a video. She sometimes mixes these media to create something. Each piece of her art is unique; She paints slowly and meticulously for one, and fast and impatient for another. Each has its own �personality�: One will have vibrant, wild, lush colours, and another will have shy, withdrawn, tame, muted colours. Some are whimsical, and others are serious. Her work shows how she feel right at the moment of creation.
A.J. has different inspirations: a memory, a movie, an image, another piece of art, visions, words, herself, an event, and her cat! What will come out, she never knows. Her preferred subjects include, but not limited to: nature, magic, and her cat.
A.J. was involved with an art experience group from 2002 until 2004. This enabled her to explore her creativity in a supportive environment with other Deaf women artists. This weekly group acted as a springboard to encourage her to take professional classes and to show her art publicly.
Since 2002, A.J.`s work has been exhibited in several galleries, including: the CityScape Art Space, the Artists Helping Artists in Burnaby, a Deaf art show at the Vancouver Community College, the Harmony Arts Festival, the RoundHouse Community Centre and a gallery in Quebec City! She is excited with the growing interest in her work and her evolution as an artist. She contributed a chapter to a book about alternative and augmented ways of communicating. She has won awards for academic study and for composition in music. In 2004, she published a book that she wrote AND illustrated.
A.J. is self taught, but she takes classes to improve her skill. She has taken classes from Vancouver School Board, Kwantlen College, North Vancouver Continoing Education, and Video In Studios. She is currently studying painting at the Bad Dog Arts Studio in North Vancouver, under Elizabeth Harris - Nichols. A.J. holds a Bachelor`s degree from Gallaudet University, the world`s only liberal arts university for the Deaf.
Through her images, she can be heard. A.J. believes this is her way to freedom, and spirituality. Most importantly, art is her way out of that well. She resides in West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with her gorgeous cat, Rumbles.
In addition to creating artwork, A.J. uses Reiki to help people.
Click here to see a five minute video created by Forrest Smith about her solo exhibit...