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Philip Bradshaw: That’s Not What I Meant

Firstsite and Essex Network of Artists’ Studios are delighted to present the first solo presentation of ACAVA member Philip Bradshaw’s work in the county. Based in Hadleigh, Philip has been selected for Studio Shots, a dynamic new strand of programming which is designed to enable Essex based artists to develop and test their practice through displays of recent or ongoing work. The first of these exhibitions follows a preview exhibition by all four selected artists.

Philip Bradshaw: That’s Not What I Meant
1 May – 28 June 2015

Philip’s work is reactive, responding to everyday occurrences in his environment, such as overheard conversations, found text, patterns and puzzles that provoke connections. These contribute raw material for examination through a combination of different media, including new work which explores the use of new technologies and approaches, many of which have been developed specifically for this display.

The works self-consciously refer to their history, influences and uses and connect with, and activate, the exhibition space. The space itself becomes an area in which everything contributes to an overall design, continuing ideas about communication and status. Ambiguity in the choice of colour, form and text is introduced to lead the viewer into an uncertain dialogue around what exists or is positioned as art work and what is a spatial design characteristic.

Philip’s crossword-based works remove the original context and are reframed as geometric paintings stripped of their philosophical underpinnings. Videos combine still imagery and fragments of text, encountered and experienced ambiguously, to deliver new meaning and perspectives on how we perceive our environments. Further, a series of paintings address the history of that medium by depicting traces of shapes produced, in the first instance, by unidentified objects blocking the sunlight.

Slippages in communication which featured in Philip’s recently exhibited work Failing to communicate, we agree are referenced further through the title of this presentation and add to the underlying uncertainties which form the influence for his work.

Philip will be delivering a talk about his practice and his influences on Friday 12 June from 6pm, prior to the launch of the new Firstsite exhibition John Virtue: The Sea. Everyone welcome.

Image courtesy of Philip Bradshaw: Detail from Still from Failing to Communicate, 2-channel digital video, 22.34 minutes, 2015