Nigel Brookes
A native San Diegan, Nigel Brookes has been studying, writing about, creating, and showing art his entire life. After a ten year lull in visual art production, when he focused his energies on the discipline of the drum, Nigel returned to art-making in the late 1990s as a devotee to the craft of mask making. More recently, as a member of The Ancient Gallery artist collective, his current interests combine medieval aesthetics with early 20th century surrealism through the use of assemblage sculpture in the service of site-specific black light installations, and as a location for performing myth and ritual. Nigel earned a Masters Degree in Communication from San Diego State University with a research and teaching emphasis in visual symbolism, philosophy of language, and organizational/social theory. His graduate thesis explored through interviews and field observations how and why people make art, built upon a premise that art-making is a self-conscious attempt to create unique languages that represent unique experiences. His writing and thinking primarily concern how people use art to "create" liberating psychologies, communities and symbolic contexts. While informed by his linguistic theorizing, Nigel's art is also inspired by his childhood, growing up in rural south San Diego county when Otay Valley was for camping, not shopping. Nigel still aspires to build the perfect black light tree-fort and that aspiration is at the heart of every Ancient Gallery project.