john brady

From his early days studying in art college John Brady has always be fascinated by the notion of art as a language. The inherent paradoxes involved in making art in contemporary west of Ireland have resulted in a body of work that continues to evolve in response to these concerns. From his early landscapes and later composite paintings to the more recent discrete works, Brady has engaged with a broad range of concerns and interests.

He studied painting in GMIT Galway and later in the Crawford College of Art. During his time in Cork he began to expand his practice from oil on canvas and drawing. He started to make maquette’s in a wide range of materials: wire, wax, paper-construction, lead and found object’s. He began to find in these three-dimensional works the beginnings of a deeply personal language. By re-constituting these objects into his paintings Brady was able investigate the motifs in ways reserved for painting, This time was also rich in his discovery of a wider range of paints, encaustics, mixed media collage, acrylic, co-polymer, discoveries he was to deepen during his time on the Winchester Master in European fine art program in Barcelona the following year. 

The effervescent architectural, social, cultural, chronological space of Barcelona provided Brady with the impetus to break into sculpture. Sculpture allowed him to investigate notions of context and meaning in relation to instillation of pieces.  The way the Barrio gothic co-exists with the old Roman city and the architecture of Gaudi, Mies van der Rohe, Calatrava, in a vibrant and synergistic manner provided an interesting counterpoint to the aesthetic of competition, purity and isolation. 

On his return to Ireland Brady continued to explore and expand his personal motifs. The support of a number of friends in Westport provided Brady an opportunity to produce on a scale he had not been able to before. The paintings evolved into composites of archetypal images. The table became an important metaphor as a context for visual conversation. Although not always accessible to everyone the paintings had an internal lexicon that suggested an honest struggle with his language and materials.

On moving to Galway Brady got a studio in Artspace. The work became smaller and more discrete, different conventions sit beside one another. On this smaller scale, notions of ‘a body of work’, style and linear development have come under investigation. The possibilities of a new grammar evolving within and around the paintings continue to give the work a quality of excitement and freedom.

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