The London-based artist and designer talks us through his new site-specific works, set across the Icelandic fjord of Siglufjörður.
Pat Bradbury is certainly one to keep you on your toes. With a portfolio full of expressive collage, joyful pattern design, and witty drawings, the London based image maker's output is forever full of vibrancy and enthusiasm. With his most recent work, a series of playful sculptures positioned across the post-industrial terrain of Siglufjörður, Iceland, his adventurous attitude showns no sign of drying up.
A commitment to taking on a noticeably intriguing range of projects appears to be a central part of Pat's ethos. On the back of developing poster designs for a Papa New Guinean dance hall in Sydney, endeavouring to coin the names of some brand new shapes, and spending some time teaching art in Vietnam, the designer last month focused his creative energy on Reiter, a curious collaborative art project in Siglufjörður.
Pat kindly shined a light on this recent undertaking, revealing both how he came to be involved, and how his subsequent ideas came about.
Can you tell us a little about the Reitir project, and how you came to be involved?
Reitir is a project that takes place in Siglufjörður, northern Iceland. It invites young professionals from a range of different backgrounds to collaborate on projects which in some way reference the town and surrounding area. I got involved through a friend who posted about the project via Facebook, I'd been applying for a few residencies at the time and jumped on it!
What specifically drove you to use sculpture in your outcome? Is this something you are exploring more generally, or something you found particularly suitable as a response to your research there?
It was a mix of things i think. I think it was a response as there was a lot of scrap wood already in the harbour so I liked the idea of using an existing material in a different way to hopefully provoke some ideas about memory and rejuvenation in this area. On a practical level it was also a good opportunity to learn new skills which could allow me to create more 3D pieces in other projects. Also it was just too sunny to be sat inside making work on photoshop!
Did the physical geography of the area inform your work at all?
I think it was a combination of the physical geography and character of the residents which inspired the project. at the start of the project out host, Aðalheiður S. Eysteinsdóttir, gave us a tour of this small town she had grown up in, telling us about Siglufjörður during the prosperous 'Herring Era' and its subsequent demise due to over fishing. She also mentioned that as a child the now run down area of the harbour and fish factories used to be her playground. I decided to make some installations that referenced this and hopefully injected some humour and playfulness back into the area.
In your eyes, what do you hope or feel will be the most lasting element of the project?
I think all of the pieces that were created during the project explored really interesting aspects of the town and shone a light on its amazing story and characters that live there. I hope that these ideas and interactions with Siglufjörður will give the residents and interesting creative insight into their town and its potential in the future.
This project in Siglufjörður, and your recent time teaching art in Vietnam, have both been opportunities for you to creatively explore direct links to local communities internationally. How do these experiences influence your own personal artistic output?
I think that sometimes it is really important to be outside of your comfort zone, and moving to another country to make work is a really good way of doing that. I think that forcing yourself to engage with new surroundings, stimuli, and people encourages you to use your creative skills to interpret and understand your environment.
What do you have planned for the near future? Can you tell us about any specific upcoming projects that we should look out for?
In a few weeks I have an exhibition in London showcasing the #throughtheeyesof project in conjunction with Its Nice That and Ace & Tate. I've also recently designed some silly cards for Wrap Magazine and will have some wrapping paper designs out soon!
To find more of Pat's work, visit his blog.
For more information on the Reiter project, head to their website.
You'll find more on Pat's exhibition with the #throughtheeyesof project on the It's Nice That website.
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