Flo Brooks lives and works in Brighton. Recent and past exhibitions include Art Basel Hong Kong 2020 Online Viewing Room, ‘Scrubbers’ at Project Native Informant (2018) and ‘Kiss my Genders’ at Hayward Gallery (2019). In January 2020 the artist granted an interview to Hunger Magazine and said, “Humour seems to me to be a leveller, it draws people in and it’s generous (not talking about snarky sarcasm though!) it feels like a constructive way of approaching “social issues” without immediately turning people off.”
Through the flatness of Flo Brooks’ acrylic colours and the peculiarly shaped wood boards, we are introduced to the fictional cleaning company ‘Scrubbers’ – as the logo on the shirt of the figure at the back in Butts Only (that’s the sound that lonely makes) and the name tag of the window cleaner in YessSIR! Back off! Tell me who l am again?! suggest.
Flo Brooks’ striking paintings, hosted at the Arts Council Collection, seem to be in continuous movement. Colours are jumping around and products float in the air, but this constant turmoil seems to create a perfect harmony. The figures, even when at rest, are depicted as active and alarmed. A seated man looks directly at the viewer whilst blowing out some smoke. The cleaning staff has a dynamic presence in each scenery; however, the details are essential; in partnership, they give to the paintings their extrovert character inviting the viewer in. The story, narrated in five pieces, hints at gender, cleansing, social life and institutional procedures found in places such as the gym or the psychotherapist’s office, inspired by the artist’s personal transitional experience. ‘For the Love of Avocados’ offers an exploration of how young people, in an ever-changing political climate, navigate their way through the pitfalls of society and the selected stimulating pieces are of particular importance to that.
Images: Courtesy of the Arts Council Collection, Image: Project Native Informant, London