Sean Branagan’s work has a hint of the impossible, but nearly graspable about it. He doesn’t describe the world we know - i.e. he doesn’t focus on the scaffolding, in which we communally invest, through language and social order to run our lives - an approach that delivers the comforting satisfaction of affirmation and recognition. Instead he attempts to breach ‘The Real’  – something that differentiates itself from what could be called ‘artificial’ to be more total, but which is certainly discernible from the imaginary and fanciful.
Branagan describes the urge in his studio to hold one end of a ribbon and throw the other end outwards, through and into the work. This is less about creating a navigable bridge between the tangible and intangible (because this assumes a difference, or a journey, that takes you from one thing to another, different thing - the conceptual world of the painting and his own reality) it is more about an orchestration of seeing and feeling the work homogenously, about embracing the idea that perhaps there is no difference, perhaps there is only one thing – ‘The Real’.
 According to Jacques Lacan, one must always distinguish between reality (the fantasy world we convince ourselves is the world around us) and the real (a materiality of existence beyond language and thus beyond expressibility). So much are we reliant on our linguistic and social version of "reality" that the eruption of pure materiality (of the real) into our lives is radically disruptive. And yet, the real is the rock against which all of our artificial linguistic and social structures necessarily fail.” See Jacques Lacan: The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psycho-Analysis. Trans. Alan Sheridan. Ed. Jacques-Alain Miller. New York: Norton, 1977