Based in the Ouseburn cultural quarter in Newcastle upon Tyne for the last 20 years, and travelling to gather inspiration, Louise Bradley’s work is inspired by the patterns, rhythms, fragility and supremacy of nature. Themes include fertility, interpretation and symbolism.
“Central to my practice are themes of fertility, beauty, reproduction, change and transformation, which I express using plants and flowers as symbols, most of which are grown locally and used seasonally. The notion of plant evolution and adapted seed dispersal methods fascinates me: there are seeds that drill themselves into the ground (and animals) and seeds that ‘walk’ hygroscopically along the ground away from the plant, as well as the more well-known wind dispersed seeds such as sycamore, dandelion and rosebay willowherb.
Detailed observational drawings from life or found macroscopic images are then progressed into hand made papercuts and abstract patterns and screenprinted using translucent colour, line and layers. Drawing persists in my work as an underpinning medium for its directness, purity and simplicity. Paintings are made from life, studies of seasonal plants and flowers or exercises in colour, composition and tone.
Prints can have as many as twenty different layers and I often work in series, rather than making an edition of prints, working using different colour harmonies and dissonance and manipulating positioning of different elements within the composition. Sometimes the final images may not seem to relate directly to the appearance of the original flower, but the forms originate there. The prints are designed to seduce, as a flower seduces a bee for pollination and reproduction using colour, scent and form.”
“Her wide range of work indicates her confident draughtsmanship, acute sense of colour, and attention to the nuance of line and life in her subjects”. – Alex Hodby, curator