From Andrew Frost...
Jessica Bradford’s discovery of old family photographs sold at markets and in second hand stores led to a fascination with translating these lost images into another medium. Bradford recreates her found images in drawing and watercolour, painting on zinc at the scale of the original images. These tiny pictures are displayed on wooden strips mounted on the gallery wall, bringing the viewer into a close and intimate encounter with familiar domestic scenes: children in a backyard, at a lookout, a pair of ladies atop a seaside rock.
Bradford’s treatment gives the images a tentative feel with pools and washes of ink obscuring faces and details of dress and places into mere suggestion. Much has been written about our emotional connection to the photograph as a signifier of place and time, but in Bradford’s work this is stripped away resulting in a more generalised affect. Where the photo trouve valorises the authentic poetry of chance, Bradford’s work is more deliberate and thoughtful, excavating a personal relationship with the spooked anonymity of the forgotten image. The personal collection is the artist’s, a collection of memories overlaid on the surface of the print.
Until May 12
Firstdraft, Surry Hills.
Pic: Jessica Bradford, Untitled, 2011. Mixed media on primed zinc plate, 9×6.4cms.