The dark slate grey background of this diptych by German artist Thomas Brezing feels almost industrial, as if it is a factory sleeping, complete with its factory chimney. But the bright coloured fragmented images in the foreground are very personal, their colours quite joyful, as if they are scraps from a life, memories. This piece is called 'Breathing My Father In' and Brezing describes it as having been 'built' over time.
"It went through many different phases. In the very beginning, the painting tried to follow the story of a survivor of the Mumbai bombings in 2008, who hid in his hotel room from the attacker for several days. All he had at hand to consume were the contents of the minibar, hence the initial title 'Surviving on the Mini Bar'. Shards of this story-layer are still visible."
This features in Brezing's new exhibition The Road is Paved with Good Intentions currently showing at the Droichead Arts Centre, Drogheda (droichead.com). In this mixed media show, Brezing explores notions of waste and recycling, the value of material possessions, what makes something worthwhile or worthless. He uses discarded objects such as used teabags, old newspapers, punctured leather footballs and shows how they can be transformed, can have life after their initial function.
There are three main installation works at the heart of this show: 'Her Loneliness Begins to Cry Out', 'The Road and At Night I Sleep', and 'During the Day I Dream'. And Brezing explains that these are "dreamlike, playful and semi-surreal responses to the theme of roadkill and plastic pollution."