Jonathan Brennan (1978) is an artist living and working in Belfast since 2012. Originally from Dublin, he spent most of the early 2000s in Brussels, Belgium where he studied painting at the École des Arts d’Anderlecht. He previously studied History of Art & Architecture (and Spanish) at Dublin University, Trinity College Dublin and has a MSc in Multimedia Systems.
Jonathan is a multi-disciplinary artist working with various visual media such as printmaking, painting, video and photography. He also works with audio and text. His work is about place: architectural and urban places as well as what is traditionally referred to as landscape, and how both interact. He is drawn to the less obvious, the neglected and the abandoned – alleyways, culverted rivers, wastelands, abandoned spaces and objects. Brennan's work is not overtly political, but rather seeks to prompt the viewer into looking with new eyes at the quotidian and to consider the wider forces that seek to manipulate how we think and act.
Jonathan works with various forms of visual media such as printmaking, painting, photography and video. Employing digital and traditional techniques, sometimes in combination, his work will often contain original texts and research. Brennan tends to tackle the same subject using a variety of media – for example, his 2017 solo show ‘Alleys of the East’ comprised a series of monotype prints; a 17-minute documentary featuring interviews and original music; experimental photographs and a printed zine.
Brennan says he enjoys collaborating with artists working in other media, in particular music and the written word.
At present: "I am currently developing a new body of work around the concept of capturing the sense/feeling of places through a combination of painting, 3d laser-scanning, audio and narrative, based on the notion that no individual form of representation can convey this completely on its own."
Since moving to Belfast, Jonathan has exhibited in the Ulster Museum, Golden Thread Gallery, Framewerk, ArtisAnn, Belfast Exposed, the Crescent Arts Centre, and collaborated on a dramatic performance of ‘Door into the Dark’, producing a series of video poems for the new Seamus Heaney HomePlace in Bellaghy, Northern Ireland. He exhibits regularly in group shows and had 3 solo shows in 2017, 2 in 2018 and 2 in 2019 and his latest in 2022.
Jonathan is a member of the Belfast Print Workshop and Vault Artist Studios.