I was Brendan’s tutor at the Royal College of Art in the
1960’s, and i’ve followed his career with interest since then.
The last four years have seen many changes, and it has been
a period of introspection and total full time commitment to
his painting, the first time he’s been able to do this for some
years. In this exhibition ‘Night and Day’ Brendan has
pursued his lifetime exploration of the city, but the work has
taken on a new, more abstract direction. In the ‘Nocturnes’,
a series of paintings at night, the excitement of the night city
as a pleasure ground, together with feelings of slight
foreboding, are brought into focus through the forms and
vibrant colours. Based on reality, the work becomes mystical
and abstract. The ‘Nocturnes’ have influenced the ‘Day ’
series in subtle ways. This is very exciting new work.
Brendan Neiland has been a great friend and supporter of
The University of Sheffield for several years. In 2002 the
University commissioned Brendan to paint the University
Library and this striking painting now hangs there. The title
of the painting is the University’s motto - Rerum Cognoscere
Causas– and means “To Discover the Causes of Things”
(from Virgil’s Georgics II, #490). Through art we are constantly
discovering new things about ourselves and the world we
live in. The University thanks Brendan for all his support
and is delighted to be sponsoring this exhibition catalogue.