CORVALLIS, Ore. – New work by Oregon State University art faculty members Julia Bradshaw and Anna Fidler will be exhibited Oct. 3 through Nov. 2 in the Fairbanks Gallery, 220 S.W. 26th St., on the Corvallis campus.
An artist’s talk and reception will take place from 4:30-8 p.m. Oct. 20 during the Corvallis Arts Walk. It is free and open to the public.
The exhibit is titled “Shapes and Séances.” Bradshaw, a photographic artist, and Fidler, a painter, share an interest in using photographs as source material.
Bradshaw treats photographs as malleable two-dimensional material, creating topographical landscapes and geometric shapes from source photographs that refer to the fore-edges and top-edges of paperback books.
She is interested in creating an infinite variety of forms and shapes that refer to the original photographed object but evoke a different sensibility. Segmented geometrical forms reference her interest in the roots of minimalist abstraction whereas horizontal stacks of books are combined to suggest gently rolling topographical landscapes. In making the work, Bradshaw uses a variety of photographic techniques, from historical darkroom techniques to current computer-based photographic imaging.
“As a photographer, I am envious of the playful methods of automatic drawing and geometrical abstraction practiced by painters,” Bradshaw said. “This is my response to that envy. By working with source photographs in a shape-shifting manner, in much the same way a ceramicist might use clay, the photographs become malleable and have infinite creative possibilities.”
Having spent most of her life in Oregon and Michigan, Fidler paints landscapes that allude to the woods found in those states. Her series for the exhibit references the four seasons and occurrences of energetic exchange between individuals and the forests that surround them. Using historical photographs as source material, Fidler constructs figurative silhouettes by gluing together many layers of paper to make dimensional, topographic forms. These forms are less about the specific individuals and more about the energy emanating from their actions.
“While making this exhibition I became aware of the artist, Hilma af Klint, who was one of the earliest artists to work with abstraction. She was a member of a female group of artists called ‘The Five,’ who were interested in complex spiritual ideas and practiced séances to be in touch with higher spirits,” Fidler said. “My painting of ‘The Five’ depicts these women working on their abstract paintings in a Swedish forest.”
The Fairbanks Gallery is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Admission is free.