‘I am committed to the human figure – that is where my loyalty lies’. Godwin Bradbeer, artist, 1999.
Godwin Bradbeer’s concern for the body is not for its academic anatomy, but for what he calls ‘subcutaneous order’ – existential, occasionally lightened by subtle erotic promise, often tormented, always mysterious. Bradbeer respectfully offers the body as a vessel of the self, but of a self that he must transcend. To engage with transubstantiating the flesh into a drawing, is to testify to human possibility for ‘catastrophe and exhilaration’. His work in various media yields an art of nuances, echo and homages, where manipulated photographs may look like drawings and drawings may look like solarisations. There, works defy figuration: they are mediative, contemplative, often dark, isolated, self possessed, pre-occupied with subtle, non-naturalistic hues and tones.