Launched in 2015 to celebrate and steward art within our community, the Overland Art Program promotes both established and emerging artists, inspire the design process, and encourage creative thinking. As part of this program, Overland hosts a series of rotating art exhibits throughout the year.
It is not the pared back color palette that has the Overland Art Program excited about our current artist (Tamra Collins may beg to differ) but the perspective that we are invited to share through it. In Cade Bradshaw’s work seeing is seeking to understand how something works.
While I suspect this has some connection to his biology background, Cade’s current work manifests this trait as an exploration of systems at varying scales. The two-dimensional pieces at our office offer us a glimpse of this as viewers, however much of what Cade does is not contained by studio gallery walls. Overland came to meet him through the Paper Clouds 2.0 installation at the Tobin Centre, where groups including the local American Institute of Architecture worked together to create a series of lit paper clouds. Through the Bridge Projects, an ongoing partnership with artist Stuart Allen, art and making become more expansive, reaching out to the city of San Antonio. Their process draws others into work collaboration in creating and simultaneously develops spatial work that inherently interacts with those that inhabit that sam e space. We saw this at the Tobin Center where visitors become more aware of the volume they occupy when the familiar yet out of place clouds are introduced, and you will be able to see it soon at an installation in our office! (Follow our Instagram account to learn more.)
Materiality is also critical to Cade’s work, but in an inverted sense. It is pared back to its simplest expression to allow you to observe the material and the relationships or symbolism within. Truly, it is the simplicity of the work that beckons you in.
His wood loops appear to be one material or rather one natural form, but we as the viewer know that branches do not grow into infinite loops. Curiosity draws you closer. Perception transforms as you observe.
This tension between the natural and constructed is not isolated to the wooden loops. The sugar galaxies capture grains of sugar in that fleeting moment of suspension. When the image is captured the particles disperse and condense in varying formations, and these interactions within the system are what fascinates. What you initially perceive as nature photography you later observe to be a created world.
Similarly, the linguistic series appear to be expressing movement. Yet, many of the implied actions are transfer prints of still objects. Images become simplified into symbols through this process while simultaneously inscribed movement through the action of transfer. A few of the linguistic pieces are actually images of architectural details. They convey a simplicity and energy that we, as architects strive to achieve when we are drawing building details at the most complex point where materials, waterproofing and building systems come together. We chase that simplified expression of the junction of many elements which is, like Cade’s work, reductive in nature.
As architects and designers we love searching the seemingly perfect detail to find the imperfections that indicate process. Just last week a principal and project manager were caught trying to confirm their own assumptions on the construction of the wooden loops. In all honesty, we are probably the ideal viewers. We investigate the everyday environment trying to discern the details. So yes, we are enjoying Cade’s work.
Stay tuned for future updates about the Overland Art Program and Cade Bradshaw. To read more about his work, visit his website here.