Tristian Koenig is pleased to announce the opening of 500 Years - a solo exhibition of new works by Ry David Bradley. 500 Years consists of a suite of six new monochromatic tapestries that further the artist’s examination and consideration of Painting and the ephemeral nature of digital media in the 21st century.
The mercurial nature of Ry David Bradley’s practice belies a singular core concern - namely the transcribing and recoding of digital content and experience outside the virtual and immaterial networks in which they resides. This has been achieved by filtering, re-conceiving and re-contextualising screen-based source material, which is exported to fabricators to produce ‘paintings’ using industrial materials and processes not traditionally associated with fine art. Considerations of time have been a paramount constituent of David Bradley’s works to date, reflecting the larger societal obsession with speed and instantaneousness that promises of ‘the future’ most often entail. As the title suggest, the present exhibition 500 Years is no exception.
In 2018 David Bradley adopted the jacquard loom tapestry technique for reasons both formal and conceptual. The jacquard technique is a 19th century technology developed in France in which a mechanical loom is operated by perforated metal cards. These perforated cards, which essentially represent a simple form of binary code, ’program’ the loom, with the result being the weave and weft of tapestry paralleling digital screen arrays and pixelisation.
As David Braldey has stated:
‘The installation 500 Years posits a series of monitor sized tapestries as unplugged screens. The woven medium despite its digital characteristics will never be reliant on circuitry to function and hence retains a kind of stoic or vault like trust ie. they will always easily “work”. No wifi. No firmware updates. No passwords. What do human memories look like if they have no hard edges? In a time when a single point of view seems archaic, these works seek to depict the human ability to hold many images at once in a kind of cognitive dance. Like when you try and remember a dream or a place, and can hold many moments at once as a single feeling. Today we consume hundreds of images on a daily basis - how does this relate to the 21st century psyche? If everything is on screen, how long will that be possible. Ten years, twenty, fifty max? These works aim to preserve what it is digital about todays experience but force it to occur in a method traditionally associated with flatness, tradition and old history. By forcing the tapestry surface to hold digital translucency it takes up an unusual 21st century character’.
The monochromatic character of works within 500 Years is a recent development within David Bradley’s practice, which is not just aesthetic. While referring to blue-screen, ‘night mode’ and a number of similar screen-based expressions and reference points, it also harks back to Painting’s past. The science of optics and colour theory reached fever pitch in the late 19th century, best embodied in the work of the Impressionists. Despite the then radical nature of their vision, science indelibly verified the veracity of their vision in terms of the red and blue shifts that occurs between sunrise and sunset exemplified in 500 Years by the shift across red and blue monochromes.
The balance of the fast and the slow, the analogue and the digital, and the perceived coldness of the industrial with the warmth of the handmade are some of the complex and intertwined fields across which 500 Years traverses, interspersed with a rich consideration of Art History.
Ry David Bradley is a Melbourne-born, London-based artist that graduated from VCA in 2013. David Bradley has recently been announced as a finalist in the AUD100,00 Ramsay Art Prize, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, and is presently exhibiting a commissioned work in ENTER - the inaugural exhibition in the newly completely Lyonhousemuseum, Melbourne. Recent exhibitions include Search History, The Hole, New York; letmein, HEART Museum, Herning, Denmark; 01, PM/AM, London; Your Story, Tristian Koenig, Melbourne; Superposition of Three Types, Artspace, Sydney and Painting, More Painting, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne. Ry David Bradley's work is represented in the collections of the HEART Museum, Herning; Museum of Contemporary Art, Krakow; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Price Waterhouse Coopers, Sydney; Aldala Collection, New York, Proclaim Collection, Melbourne and the Anthaneum Club, Melbourne.