b. 1969, Adelaide
Lives and works in Adelaide
Matthew Bradley's sculptural and performative works are the result of an experimental and original approach to thinking and making. Qualities of art relevant to his practice include those that are akin to the work of the cosmologist, the physicist and the engineer. He is known for a restrained and methodical approach to materials and form, and philosophically robust engagements with notions as diverse as risk, delinquency, power, the evolution of consciousness, the origins of the universe, the fatal attraction of the horizon and the complicated relationship of these notions to the intellectual advancement of society and the psychic renewal of the individual citizen.
“There is the line and there is crossing the line. Then there is making your own path...“ (excerpt from Artists Statement, 2006)
FOREST OF LIGHTNING
AUSTRALIAN EXPERIMENTAL ART FOUNDATION
ARTIST STATEMENT -
In A Forest of Lightning Matthew Bradley presented an installation of sculptural works that combined organic and inorganic matters with discarded bits of domestic appliances and urban infrastructure. This immersive environment registers a series of interconnections between the natural world and the infrastructure of civilisation.
This project furthers Bradley's investigations into the human relationship with the natural world, civilisation's exposure to entropy and the ingenuity born of the instinct for survival.
The light pole was found at -34.931031, 138.578686, beneath the Hilton Bridge. The space beneath the bridge is in a narrow margin - between the Westernmost edge of the parklands which encircle Adelaide's CBD, and the beginning of the Western suburbs. The partially buried pole was excavated and moved to the gallery for the duration of the exhibition. At the end of the exhibition it was returned and placed back in the exact position in which it was found.
DESTROYER OF WORLDS
ARTIST NOTES -
Time is the fire in which we burn.
The physical appearance of one of my first 'failed' metal casting experiments began a trajectory of thought which gave rise to an imagined narrative of a Precambrian Earth/Alien encounter. In this narrative; during a great battle in space, set against a boiling black Earth, gouged and crackling with volcanic lava, fragments of the debris of a destroyed spacecraft fall through the proto-atmosphere toward the surface of the planet. Something about the surface texture of this early casting suggested to me the patina one might expect of an ancient alien relic. Something exotic was possesed by and expressed by the materiality of this object, in the specific configuration of its particles suspended in space. The very alienness of the thing itself failed to undermine the emerging fiction, somehow in fact it lent it some plausability. The material reality of the artefact Remnant is unequivocal. It has a presence as a thing with real mass and weight, a presence that bears the evidence of its coming into being. It is a factual relic of a casting event. Its appearance is not simulated, it’s a direct result of the method and moments of its creation and it asserts a truth of being that is uninterrupted and uncorrupted right the way through and beyond its subatomic dimentions. It also has, by chance, and attempted managed failure, the patina one might expect of an object that fell through the atmosphere, onto the surface of the Earth, was folded into the Earths crust, melted by geologic heat, recast in its Earthen mould and finally excavated a billion and a half years later.
Andromeda, What would it be like to be a superbeing, What would it be like to have superpowers, to skip from galaxy to galaxy, planet to planet simply by casting your gaze. Andromeda is the golden leg of a super being, an artefact from our nearest galaxy. It was formed around a cast of my own leg. It looks like a piece of lower leg armour, like a piece of iron mans suit but without all the weaponry. In my mind it differs from the traditional suit, it has special properties. For instance, a traditional suit is made up of pieces which are specifically moulded for one part of the body, and which are not exchangeable with any other part; you cannot wear a shin piece on your head for instance. However this piece could be the whole rather than a fragment. It could be caught mid-transformation, shifting from a non-human machinic object and growing into a human form, exploiting compatibility at a sub-atomic level. Also, is there a vulnerable being inside it which is being protected? Perhaps not, perhaps it is the thing in itself, a thoughtform, a vitality, or a potentiality of being that is traversing matter. It has become a vehicle through which I can speculate on latent potentialities present and extant within matter itself. Might we or do we already enter into assemblages with matter that extend our abilities or further, enable unlimited access to manifold forms of being.
There is infinity in vessel design, an inexhaustible catalogue of possible forms. I've decided to stay a while in this infinity, for the time it takes me to make One Hundred Vessels. Can these One Hundred vessels world, can each of them bring forth a whole world, a whole other infinity itself? Worlds with their own atmospheres, geology, flora and fauna, cultures, peoples, systems of beliefs, political structures, universes, such that shifting ones gaze between them might cause a sensation of geographic, psychic, cosmic and temporal drifts. Together they sit, worlds upon worlds upon worlds. Worlds unrecorded in human history, interstices between known civilisations. Lost, buried, excavated.
So far, as far as castings go, many of the vessels have been failures, but it is important to the overall project that they are included in the set. The set of one hundred, when finished, should tell the whole story of my development and gradually improving ability as a metal caster. This journey should be evident in the vessels themselves. There should be evidence of struggle and of failure, there should be evidence of technical breakthroughs as well as observable periods where ambition, inspiration and imagination flourishes. From a practical point of view, the ultimate goal is significant bridging of the gap between what can be imagined and what can be technically produced.
In the centre of this group of works sits the furnace that I built at the beginning of this adventure. A crucible full of molten bronze, as it comes out of the furnace, looks like a small sun. The furnace is a sun factory or galaxy. These little suns form the centre of a new solar system in my backyard. All my efforts, my labour and my dreams orbiting this little furnace. In the gallery the furnace is cold and silent, all its heat and light has radiated out into space. The time of this little furnace is known as The Year of a Thousand Suns. The sun is the giver of life, in whose warmth and light we reside for a time. When a sun dies, its core contracts, the helium atoms in the core fuse together forming carbon atoms under the enormous pressure of its own gravity. It is thought that dead suns are full of diamonds.