The Saint Radio of Brittany Miller

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T293, Rome // April 04, 2024 – May 25, 2024

Brittany Miller’s paintings borrow visual language from Christian art history, incorporating archetypes of the martyr, savior, and saint. In her work, figures are encountering the supernatural–levitations, messages from elsewhere, and visits from otherworldly beings, while the vibrational quality of her line-work encourages the viewer to have a transcendental experience of their own.

The Catholic priest and scholar Thomas Berry spoke about how many of us have lost a “functional cosmology” that connects us to each other, to the natural world, and to the universe. With the loss of this functional cosmology, we have shifted our sensitivity, our ability to pay attention to the world, and to be present both to each other and to ourselves. Without a purpose, we feel lonely and isolated. Taking into account Berry’s cosmological notion, Miller explores the idea of artists and poets as conduits for information from “the other world,” positioning them as vulnerable, open receivers seeking a deeper understanding of our existence.

Drawing on her upbringing in a fundamentalist Christian family, her paintings interweave symbols and poses from medieval, Dutch and Renaissance art with contemporary domestic scenes, showing solitary figures in moments of transcendence. The series “Saint Radio,” showcased for the first time at T293, revolve around an intimate collaboration between the artist and  New York City-based poets—Courtney Bush, Jameson Fitzpatrick, and Marie Howe—who are depicted as embodiment of cosmological frameworks, but placed in scenes from contemporary domestic life.

One of the personalities that has most inspired Brittany’s work is her close friend Courtney Bush, winner of the 2022 National Poetry Series. Courtney’s book, “I Love Information,” serves as a significant influence, borrowing religious themes to illustrate how children embody attention and care, offering us guidance for navigating the world. In her upcoming book, “The Lamb With The Talking Scroll,” she investigates the symbolism of the lamb as both martyr and messenger of information. Fragments of poetry from “The Lamb With The Talking Scroll” appear throughout the paintings.

In addition, poets Jameson Fitzpatrick and Marie Howe, whose work similarly incorporates biblical narratives to explore spiritual dimensions in daily life, play pivotal roles in the artist’s narration, reflecting a convergence of shared experiences and influences within their creative circle. Pieces of Jameson’s poetry come into Miller’s work, while Marie Howe’s use of Biblical figures like Magdalene and Eve in her poems serves as an influence over the entirety of the show.

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