27.7cm x 19.5cm
Brad’s small portrait took out First Place in the 2015 Acquisitive Art Award for unrepresented artists in Victoria.
Once again held in Gallerysmith in North Melbourne the award proved even more popular than last year and this work by Brad Rusbridge generated lots of discussion during the judging and afterwards when the winner was announced.
Brad’s Artist Statement sheds some light on what the painting is about, and how he came to create this many layered portrait.
“As long as drones the size of mosquitoes continue to breach the borders of personal space and property; I don the rag. While robot work around the clock collating data received by motion-capture cenotaphs and CCTV cameras hiding in the cracks of stone cairns; I diligently and without hesitation, don the rag. While personal devices automatically upload the souls of their users, every minute of every hour of every day; I am sitting on a dirt floor at the bottom of an abandoned mineshaft, sporting a tin-foil akubra. To the youth who asserts his or her individuality in a gesture of mind-numbing homogeneity - as the iphone camera captures the ubiquitous selfie - I am akin to the sound of its shutter: a haunting, hoarsely whispered, fauz-mechanical ‘click’ fated to fade inconsequentially from existence. And so I lower the veil on it all. In town, only when I absolutely must, I appear as a hollow shell of a man, a ghost without subjects, a rare and tragic vagabond. But my thoughts are rich, my project private yet profound. Beyond this khaki calico face-covering lies the eyes of a painter, the mouth of a poet and the mind of a pedagogue. Though now ... for what use ... I dont know”
In early 2015 Brad began work on an extended prose poem entitled Hollow Gully. It is a fictional memoir of self-imposed exile set on the outskirts of the artist’s hometown of Bendigo, Victoria. This narrative, set in a dystopian near-future, drives the subject matter of his recent paintings.
The M Collection is extremely happy to have it as part of their collection.
Acquired September 2015