Virginia Bradley

"The alchemical and performative processes of painting are the foundation of my creative practice. The studio becomes a laboratory for experimentation and the interaction of diverse materials. This process enables me to continually arrive at new destinations that offer alternative perceptions of certainty."

Bradley's research in geological and oceanographic formations serves as a starting point for her abstract works. A recent influence is the Soudan Iron Mine in Tower, Minnesota. The mine's ancient waters host organisms formed 2.7 billion years ago, when a sea was thought to have covered the region. Geological formations found in the mine are similar to photographic imagery found on the surface of Mars. Her Soudan research has led her to explore the biological composition of bioluminescent waters in the Caribbean Sea. Imagery from both of these sources serves as departure points for her work.

Bradley transforms diverse materials through the physical act of pouring, sanding, drawing, printing, building, and subtracting into and onto the surface in many layers. Transparent film or silk are the base structures for the works; their transparency correlates to Bradley's underlying theme of water. Bradley works on a series of paintings simultaneously over several months—or years.

Bradley has received prestigious painting fellowships from the McKnight Foundation, Arts Midwest NEA, Minnesota State Arts Board, and The Lighton International Artists Exchange Program. She has been a fellow at ACME Studios in East London; the London Geological Society; Yaddo; Sanskriti Kendra in New Delhi, India; Fundacion Valparaiso in Mojcar, Spain; Ragdale; and the Virginia Center of Creative Arts. She is a professor of art at the University of Delaware.

Selected Exhibitions & Awards
"Soudan", Wilmington, DE, Delaware Contemporary Museum, 2017
Jeopardy, Villanova, PA, Villanova University, 2015
Jeopardy, London, England, Acme Project Space, 2014
Natural Histories, Newark,DE, University Museums, UDelaware, 2012
A Fragile Grace, Philadelphia, PA, LG Tripp Gallery , 2013
Acquisition, Pennslyvania Convention Center, Philadelphia, PA, 2016