• Artist
    Jeffrey Bren
  • Title
    Self-portrait watching television
  • Date of Production
    circa 1972
  • Medium
    oil on canvas
  • Dimensions
    116.0 x 166.0cm
  • Credit Details
    Collection Art Gallery of Ballarat, George Crouch Acquisition with assistance from the Visual Arts Board, Australia Council, 1974

Jeffrey Bren: The Dark Mirror

Saturday, August 14, 2010 - Sunday, September 26, 2010, -


Jeffrey Bren: The Dark Mirror is an exhibition which looks at the work of a Ballarat born artist whose name has largely disappeared into the shadows of time. In the early 1960s, Bren studied at the National Gallery Art School under John Brack who was to become a major influence on his work. As the recipient of various art prizes in the 1970s including the Georges Art Prize and the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery's George Crouch Prize, Jeffrey Bren (1944-2007) was considered an impressive young talent early in his career.

Bren's work, largely consisting of oils and watercolours, evoke the feelings of isolation which the artist himself experienced throughout his life. Through economical use of tone and colour, themes of reflection and isolation are embodied by shadowy figures and dark interiors. As explained by Allan McCulloch, Bren's works are "a subtle language of psychological allusion and poetic metaphor, extremely elegant in style and deceptively simple at a first sighting."

A sense of whimsy is also apparent throughout Bren's work. Make sure to keep an eye out for an elegant early 20th Century actress, a blind elephant and a scene reminiscent of a Hitchcock film.