Agnes Brook-Sulman is a contemporary abstract painter who splits her time between Edinburgh and London. She is drawn to the abstract language of art and works intuitively, resolving paintings that express an inner feeling, resisting any influence from external visual sources. Her current body of work is achieved with the use of paper collage, acrylic and oil paints.

I paint by drawing on internal feelings or emotions rather than outward observation. My painting leans more towards the spontaneous and intuitive than the pre-mediated or planned. I am looking to find the right combination of form, shape and colour to create a composition or an arrangement within a space of the confines of a canvas. This puts particular importance on the choice of colour and the gestures I make. The marks and lines and placing of paint is an external mapping of my internal thinking. I am always searching for the visceral correctness or rightness of a painting. This is based on an intuitive feel for the balance of a composition.

I come closest to planning when drawing smaller works. They are effectively ‘plans’ for bigger pieces in which I might conflate drawing and painting. This enables me to bring a drawing methodology into the larger canvases, by mixing paint and pastel and more recently, collage. The introduction of collage has allowed me to challenge my understanding of the paintings. It is more of an agile and controlled way of making compositions, enabling me to bring out what is most essential in the work. The discipline of this restraint frees me to be more candid with my paintings and collage and the combination of both.

I am drawn to an abstract language that tries to resolve a painting through feeling rather than forced thinking. We receive a lot of information and outward visual stimulation – we’re constantly bombarded by images through our various screens and are always being forced to think this or feel that. My ongoing practice is both a personal resistance to this need to react and explain everything. It wants to give the viewer permission to feel without having to explain; as well as being a search for the elemental things that make for order and equilibrium”.

Agnes graduated with a BA(Hons) Painting from ECA 2022. We were delighted to feature her work in our highlight ‘Best of Scottish Art Schools Grad Show 2022’.