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“Hey Mark” is a series of pictures corresponding to different scenes in the Gospel of Mark, using collage and painting, contemporary images and old images, lettering and words. The project had its genesis when I became interested in learning about this gospel but was somewhat deterred by its’ terse and simple writing style and its’ bleak tone and message. I asked for help from the professionals. A Catholic nun explained to me,
You don’t read this like a book. It will speak to you because its’ Spirit is alive. Read it because it deals with the adult Christ; there are no shepherds and Wise Kings here. There’s not even a risen body at the end. Stop when you reach a line that means something to you, and contemplate it.
I am an artist and I when I want to understand something, I need to go at it visually. I decided I would collage each passage in the Gospel of Mark that spoke to me. Since I was largely unfamiliar with this work, pretty much everything spoke to me.
I have chosen to use pictures (primarily from old issues of National Geographic) of the contemporary world, the First World and the Third. They say that Christ is found inside of everyone. Animals, women, children, the oppressed, the privileged, all step in to play the cast of Mark’s characters. As does the gospel, this series deals with questions of spirit and poetry, human suffering, oppression, social justice, despair and hope. Powerful in their own right as pictures, the collages also function as stories and as devotional or contemplative images. This work is meant partly as a Book of Hours, but, like the teachings of Christ, it also strives to see ordinary things in this world inside out.
Bio : Brooke Bailey was born in Houston, Texas and began studying art at the School of Visual Arts, New York and went on to study painting at the New York Studio School and art history at Hunter College. After school she lived and worked in Naples, Italy and Berlin, Germany and has shown her work nationally and internationally. Currently she is based in Houston.
Artist Statement: My work is about empathy. The silent film actress Louise Brooks once said, “The great art of films does not consist of descriptive movement of face and body but in the movement of thought and soul, transmitted in a kind of intense isolation.” I am searching for the emotional and spiritual essence of my characters. My most recent paintings are illustrations for a dark fairytale called Golden Walker (written by my sister and myself) about how a broken heart can consume the whole world.
Golden Walker is a fantasy novel written by myself and my sister, Melissa Bailey. The novel is not for children but it is fully illustrated, somewhere between a graphic novel and a story book. It is unpublished and we are currently on the search for an agent.
Golden Walker is the story of the seven magic brothers of the City of Paythe, and their sister. All of the siblings are shapeshifters- one turns into fire, another into animals- but none of them know why they have such strange and powerful talents. Salix is the cleverst of them all, and he is also very ill. When the charismatic King of Iirvska arrives in Paythe seeking Leila’s hand, Salix believes the King’s wealth of knowledge can save him. He sends Leila to Iirvska, and takes the King’s daughter Nadia as his bride. But Iirvska is a city ruled by fear, and the King isn’t accustomed to sharing. Willful Leila has her own ideas about her arranged marriage, and Nadia is full of secrets. But when the seven brothers start disappearing one by one, she must decide whether to stay loyal to her father and Salix, or listen to her growing instinct for justice.