Born 1997 in Queensland, Narjia Brownlie is an emerging Australian artist that captures the romanticism of human connection. Brownlie has long possessed an interest and love for painting, however only recently decided to pursue a career as an artist in 2018. Her work is inspired by the feminine condition and the intricacies of the female experience, particularly the complex ways women connect, associate and dissociate with one another.
Brownlie’s paintings celebrate female connection through the central idea of sisterhood. Unencumbered by societal pressures or expectations, the artist depicts abstract female figures coming together in dance and delight, where bodies move and exist together freely. From growing up to university, Brownlie has always been inspired by the ways women communicate and bemused by the underlying rivalry that often permeates female relationships; where hostility and control triumphs over empathy and kindness. She is both intrigued and unsettled by the ways young women pull themselves apart only to compare their strengths and weaknesses to the other women around them.
In light of this, Brownlie’s paintings propose a joyful reclamation of sisterhood that is free of judgement and brimming with promise. Emanating a dreaminess and whimsy, the artist’s work explores themes of the body, communication, and interpersonal relationships with a refreshing lightness that feels authentic and liberated. Neutral tones collide with bursts of colour in Brownlie’s considered approach to line, shape and form, where bodies shift and melt together as they tell the varied stories of the female experience.
Brownlie holds a Dual Bachelor Degree in Creative Industries and Business. The artist currently lives and works in Toowoomba, Queensland, where she enjoys creating and welcoming commission-based work.
Words by Chloe Borich