As you know I love to share the gifts and skills of all types of artists and today I’d like to introduce you to the wonderful Paige Bradley! Paige has this quote as the very first thing you see on her website “Art is not entertainment.”
She goes on. “Art is not luxury goods. Art is culture. It is you and me.”
I’m fascinated also by what she says inspires her : “Inspiration comes from my connection to the world, my relationships with others, and my relationship with myself. I don’t need to travel the planet or hire dancers to find a muse. My individual journey is inspiration enough.” A truly honest concept.
Most artists think they need to travel the world and have big experiences but here is an artist on the world stage who creates works without all that fuss and bother.
You’ll know who I’m talking about when I show you her works. This one is called EXPANSION!
You can see a video of this sublime work of art as it rotates – watch it here: https://paigebradley.com/video.php?vid=1
From her blog, Paige Bradley wrote this description of how “THE EXPANSION” came into being:
“I conceived of this piece when I first moved to Manhattan. I was a bit startled by the power of the curators and the critics and how they all had an anti-figure slant on what they deemed show-worthy. So many of these people felt like everything figurative had already been done, and real art was about being a “Visionary” rather than just showing ability, accuracy or general talent.
Thus, the figure had generally disappeared from galleries, museums, important collections, art fairs and other shows. The few of us that were left had no place to exhibit and our voice was not being heard. Many figurative sculptors started teaching, as that was all they could do.
If I wanted to stay in the fine art field, I knew I had to join my contemporaries and make ‘contemporary’ art. I knew that it was time to let go of all the finely tuned skills I had acquired over the years, and just trust in the process of making art. The art world was telling me I had to break down my foundation, let my walls crumble, expose myself completely, and from there I will find the true essence of what I needed to say.
So, literally, I took a perfectly good (wax) sculpture– a piece I had sculpted with precision over several months– an image of a woman meditating in the lotus position, and just dropped it on the floor. I destroyed what I made. I was letting it all go. It was scary. It shattered into so many pieces. My first feeling was, “what have I done?!” Then, I trusted it would all come together like I envisioned.”
What an amazing story of reinvention that is! I am not sure I can imagine having the courage to do that!
The Royal Shakespeare Company in UK used Paige Bradley’s Expansion on their poster in 2017 to promote their production of “Dido, Queen of Carthage”, a play by Christopher Marlowe. This particular image was taken in London by photographer Anne Vinogradoff.
Paige continues with the story “We cast all the pieces in bronze and assembled the pieces so they floated apart from one another. Then I brought in a lighting specialist and we built a crazy lighting system to make it glow from within. It turned out even better than I thought. And the best is that the image of “Expansion” means so much to so many who see it. I get letters every day! I feel like I really did my job successfully!
From the moment we are born, the world tends to have a box already built for us to fit inside. Our umbilical cord never seems to be severed; we only find new needs to fill.
If we disconnected and severed our attachments, would we shatter our confinements and expand beyond our shell?
Would the world look different? Would we recognize ourselves?
Are we the box that we are inside, and to be authentically ‘un-contained’ would we still be able to exist?
This is the irony of containment. As long as we don’t push on the walls of our surroundings, we may never know how strong we really are.”
Alapadma, Half Life | Bronze or Iron Bonded Resin | 28 x 34 x 16 in | 71 x 86 x 41 cm
She continues: “I want to advocate healing and empowerment for people around the world. I want my art to be a forceful voice to help those who suffer from illness, repression or exploitation. My sculptures express a depth and variety of the physical, emotional and spiritual that we search for as a human race. Simultaneously, I want to provoke us to feel painful truths we keep bottled up inside.
I want us to remember we are all the same. And, it is this understanding that can heal us all.”
Paige has written at the end of a calendar year – not this one incidentally, but as with all great truths, they are evergreen. She said “This year, may we put down our smart phones a bit more often. Perhaps we may even pick up an arrow (of sorts), picturing intentions for our best life as our target. May we find time to breathe deeply, as we experience the present moment. May we truly BE with those we love and live to our fullest capacity.and thank you for allowing me to share your art.”
Tags: artists at work creativity expansion genius international artist international sculptor Paige Bradley sharing sharing gifts sharing skills thought provoking wisdom