Finding Stories - 013


Framed sculptural fragments made from collected objects and items by Geoffrey Bradford

Box framed

Size: 20cm x 17.5cm

Part of the 'Excavations Series'

Over the past twenty five years, my art practice has involved working with found materials, objects and photography.

In 2019, we made one of our many journeys north to the archaeological site on the Ness of Brodgar on Orkney. We had been following the progress of the dig online but never visited the site when it was open to the public, which only happens for a couple of weeks each August. August coincided with Sarah's birthday so we decided to book a day with Nick Card, Head of archaeology from the University of the Highlands and Islands. It turned out to be a very special day: we were given privelaged access, a personal tour, and an opportunity to look at the extensive collection of objects and artefacts that had been discovered. For the most part, they were unceremoniously stored in plastic boxes - some were wrapped in odd pieces of rag and others in paper. They were labelled and identified with a number, date and the initials of the finder, together with their location and a suggestion of what they may have been.

That visit became the inspiration for all my work since then. It motivated a desire to 'excavate' the repository that is my studio, packed as it is with a history of making and collecting of found and made objects. It is an eclectic 'Aladdin's Cave'. As importantly, I wanted a review and explore the ideas behind my art practice. Placing the objects in a glazed box, which I have done variously and for over two decades, contributed further to the idea of containing and protecting and making them seem precious. There is an ambiguity in the objects - they are inventions made from found materials modelled and cast using traditional and sculptural means and materials, whose meaning and purpose can be imagined by the viewer with the hope of finding their own stories.