With an encyclopedic approach, Virginia Bradley explores imagery found at the Zoological Society of London library in this new body of mixed media painting. Imagery ranging from the menagerie at the Tower of London paired with Anne Boleyn and Jane Grey; to contemporary imagery of the Okapi addressing endangered species, emerge in these layered works.
Imagery is printed, drawn and sanded, paint is poured, surfaces are waxed and carved to form hide like tapestries on khadi paper and birch panel.
Bradley has long-standing interest in colonial natural history imagery and is intrigued by the instinct or ‘sixth sense’ that animals possess, as well as their primordial sense of purity and beauty. An animal’s innate instinct for survival correlates to the intuitive process that is active in her painting. The final textural paintings question the history, origin, meaning and authenticity of the image. Ultimately, she wants the visual work to offer alternative perceptions to certainty – past, present and the desires of humans.
Virginia Bradley resides in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. She is a Professor of Art at the University of Delaware where she teaches painting and drawing. In 2013 she was the inaugural Artist in Residence at the Zoological Society of London in Regents Park and is currently undertaking an Associate Artist Residency as part of Acme Studios IRP in London, UK.
Bradley has been the recipient of several fellowships, including a McKnight Foundation Fellowship in Painting, Arts Midwest NEA Fellowship for Painting and two Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowships in Painting and Drawing. She has also completed several Percent for Art Commissions for the Minnesota State Arts Board. Bradley has also been a fellow at Yaddo, Sanskriti Kendra (New Delhi, India), Fundacion Valparaiso (Mojcar,Spain), Ragdale and the Virginia Center of Creative Arts. Bradley's work has been exhibited widely, venues include; Blue Star Center for the Arts, Hoyt Institute of Art, Freedman Gallery (Albright College), Abington Art Center, The Minneapolis Institutes of Arts, The Soap Factory and the Florence Biennale.