Born in South Carolina, Mills Brown (b. 1993) is a mixed media painter living in Oxford, UK. Primarily featuring intimate interiors and swampy landscapes, Brown’s work considers the American South as a subject. She references ghostly figures taken from photographs, familiar objects rendered from memory, ornamental patterns and lush wildlife to build a dream-like narrative around the idea of home. Mills holds an MFA in Studio Art from American University (2017) and a BA in English and Art History from Wofford College (2015). Selected exhibitions include Interiors, Latela Curatorial, Washington, DC (2019) and Welcome with Celeste Caldwell, Redux Contemporary Art Center, Charleston, SC (2021).
I work with acrylic paint and collage to reimagine scenes based on family mythologies, familiar interiors, and fragments of memory. Themes of home, childhood, femininity and safety surface throughout the work. Visually the paintings are also connected by a love of pattern and a sense of narrative possibility. I am influenced by the Southern Gothic literary tradition and particularly enamored by this genre's use of estrangement, eccentricity, the supernatural, and the peculiar, haunting presence of the past. I seek a similar atmospheric perspective on the South through painted effects of light, shadow, transparency, reflection and glow.