Otago Daily Times

‘‘Moths and Rust’’, Ro Bradshaw

(Hul­la­baloo Art Space, Cromwell)

- Arts

‘‘Lay not up for your­selves trea­sures upon earth, where moth and rust doth cor­rupt . . .’’ In her lat­est solo ex­hi­bi­tion, Ro Bradshaw ref­er­ences a bi­b­li­cal pas­sage that warns against in­vest­ing heart and soul into worldly pos­ses­sions that will ul­ti­mately prove tran­sient and vul­ner­a­ble. Her work fre­quently ad­dresses the ef­fects of hu­man­ity’s ob­ses­sion with de­vel­op­ment, progress and the con­stant ac­cu­mu­la­tion of ma­te­rial ob­jects, and the echo­ing scar that can leave across the nat­u­ral world. Up­cy­cling road­side rub­bish and house­hold waste into us­able artis­tic ma­te­ri­als, Bradshaw’s mixed­me­dia works are as thought­pro­vok­ing as they are starkly beau­ti­ful.

Her sig­na­ture New Zealand fal­con soars through a lonely sky in many of the scenes, the sin­gle sign of en­dan­gered, des­per­ate life in a land­scape where the hu­man pres­ence is rep­re­sented only by lin­ger­ing dev­as­ta­tion and de­cay. With rusted pa­per col­laged on the can­vas be­fore paint­ing, the two largest works, Strata, pre­sent lines of rust like burnt­out earth, long planes of colour de­scend­ing to strips of black, as if to highlight the ul­ti­mate end­point of so many lay­ers of waste. In the sky above, scat­ter­ings of rust rise like fiery dust and pol­lu­tion — both aes­thet­i­cally en­gross­ing and the­mat­i­cally dis­com­fort­ing, and ul­ti­mately highly suc­cess­ful. The tini­est works are equally as ef­fec­tive, with land­scapes dyed on to un­folded teabags, and minia­ture col­lages mounted in re­cy­cled CD cases — pop cul­ture and con­sumerism meet­ing tra­di­tional tile art.

 ??  ?? Strata, by Ro Bradshaw
Strata, by Ro Bradshaw

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