BRAHM (Blowing Rock Museum of History & Art) is excited to announce the opening of “Elizabeth Bradford: Time + Terrain”, curated by Carla Hanzal. The exhibition will be on view from August 13 to November 19, 2016, with an opening reception on Thursday, September 1st from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Museum. The event is free and open to the public. Guests are invited to enjoy hors d’oeuvres, beverages, and live music as they experience the works on display.
“What an honor to be hosting the paintings of Elizabeth Bradford,” states Lee Carol Giduz, Executive Director at the Museum. “Viewing her work is a conversation with nature. At a distance, the scene appears before you as through an open window and draws you in, while up close, you experience the intricate details, dramatic colors, and the many qualities of brushstrokes. What unfolds are stories of the layered and delicate beauty of our natural world.”
Interview and music pairings with Bradford's work.
Bradford’s devotion to the out-of-doors gives these spaces their significance, their permanence. Her farm is sacred because she paints it.
The vibrancy of Bradford's work and its subjects reminds us of yet another aspect of time: it passes, and neither we nor the land go unchanged.
A lot of native North Carolina artists will tell you that their roots are evident in their work. For painter Elizabeth Bradford, those claims can seem almost quaint and droll by comparison.
Slowly, over time, my attention turned to wild places. I found myself breathing deep sighs of relief when I stepped out of civilization and into the forest. I learned I could sit in one spot in the woods and paint for hours, lost in the natural opulence. Animals and birds would cease to see me as a threat because I was still for so long.
…I have come to believe that I am now painting the permanent—that wildness will never be fully controlled. With my work I want to build an alternate universe that allows us to step inside and wander endlessly, a universe inspired by the wild untamable generosity of the natural world.
I have always been interested in the breaking down of surface into component parts, whether the single stitch in a tapestry, the tessera in a mosaic, or the pixel of a photograph. In my work my brush strokes serve as tesserae that go to build the complex mosaic our eyes see when we look at the simplest thing in nature.
Sometimes I create a carefully calculated structure on which I hang chaotic marks. Other times I begin with chaotic marks and impose order and control on top of them. The work is neither all chaos, nor all control. It is an argument between the two, which I hope finds resolution on the level of our souls, reminding us of the sacredness of the world we do not command and our responsibility to challenge all that threatens it.