Olga Brown was born in the Volyn region in Ukraine. Studied and received her MA in art and textiles from the Academy of Fine Art in Lviv, Ukraine in 1982. In 1997 she moved to London, where she’s been living ever since. When asked if she was enjoying her life in London, she seems to be surprised with the question: “Of course I do! Being loved and taken care of, being given the opportunity to work, concentrate on my art, what else can I wish for?”.
Her loving husband, Stuart Brown met Olga 17 years ago and since then they’ve always had a happy marriage, a rare successful union of two artists living under one roof. Stuart is a professional photographer. His work is displayed all around the house, in combination with Olga’s paintings they create the amazing atmosphere of a house where new artworks are being born.
I’ve never had an opportunity to visit an artist at home before. In the gallery or art shop it’s totally different atmosphere. Being at the artist’s house gives you a chance to really get to know the artist in a relaxed setting.
Even if you are not a fine art expert, Olga’s works will surprise and amaze you. A recent series of women in cottons, London life and architecture, racing horses and extinct birds: whatever she’s working on comes out as a museum-quality art piece.
This year’s Open house is a part of the annual Wandsworth Artists’ Open House. During the first weekend (4-5 October, 2014) Olga and Stewart welcomed over 50 visitors. But they expect more the following weekend (11-12 October, 2014).
If you visit next weekend (11-12 October), make sure you take a slow, close look at every painting on the ground floor. Before rushing out, find the book Ghosts of Gone Birds which you can find somewhere near the window in the living room. Two paintings that Olga created especially for the exhibition described in the book are impressive, but not displayed. Make sure you show your interest in those two and you might get an invitation upstairs to see them.
When walking to the first floor, don’t miss an impressive painting on your right and ask Olga about its meaning (check the numbers on the watch, can you see they are unusual?).
Text and photo by Anna Morgan.
Other visitor’s reviews:
Liliya Nakonechna, teacher, tutor, residing in Putney
My favourite Putney and Wandsworth are full of real gems and hidden treasures.Last Sunday I came across one more – a welcoming house of Ukrainian-born artist-Olga Brown. When I’d looked at the Open Artists’ weekend brochures, I picked up a couple of works which I wanted to see. Only then I found out that one of them was Ukrainian. And I was not disappointed. I am not an artist and I can’t judge, but I can admire.I like the way Olga captures the feeling of London, its buzz and warmth at the same timе, leaving you room for memories and imagination. I could not move away from her St Paul and Piccadilly paintings. I would recommend not to miss the opportunity to meet a lovely Ukrainian lady, visiting her welcoming house and have a pleasure of looking at her art.
Khrystyna Khodakivska, conservation professional currently based at the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community, living in West London
I have met Olga Brown at the Ukrainian protest event following the annexation of Crimea. I instantly knew that she was an artist – there was this calmness and mystery, which were familiar to me as I grew up surrounded by artists.
London is a very busy city, people generally have little time for social activities, but since the Maidan in Kyiv, the London Ukrainian community has mobilised. We all made new friends attending the events in support of Ukraine.
I was delighted to visit Olga’s Open house last Sunday – a lively conversation and a glimpse into the workshop of magic, which is what art is to me. The timing of my visit was perfect – I have met Anna of Ukrainian London Events, another bonus of visiting artists – a guarantee of meeting interesting people. Olga told us about her recent project, Ghosts of Gone Birds, dedicated to extinct species of birds, and we were quite privileged to see the original paintings. Another surprise awaits you in the room which is used to store the paintings. All you need to do is take the train to Southfields to experience for yourself the fascinating world of Olga Brown.
Natalia Szkral, professional educator, translator.
It was a great treat to visit Olga’s home, as if you were an old friend of her and her husband. She and her husband radiate contentment and it makes you relish their art with even bigger pleasure. For me, her cityscapes were just how I feel London – the movement, the atmoshphere, the games of shadow and light or rainy reflection, the people who’s faces are not that important when you feel the vibe of the city.
And the beautiful dance of fabric wrapped around gracious women. She told me that fabric has its own energy and I say it definitely has its own beauty which Olga profoundly depicted!
Tags: ukrainian painter