Bradley Borthwick

Material Agency

Relying on stone, beeswax, and wood, my sculpture practice is defined by historical research, material experimentation, performance, and film documentation. I speak in a range of critical voices, borrowing from the monolithic forms of prehistory, material craft of period wares, and ruins of ancient societies. Rather than reflexively defining my practice in terms of the work of artists or movements, I look to cultural form as inspiration for my drive to make. At the center of my work is an unreserved belief in the significance of a materials-focused studio practice. I believe in a direct physical engagement that can be shaped by my sustained intent, that I have worked to identify the materials with which I have an affinity and a transcendent response. Conceptually, I pursue a sense of where we (humanity) situate ourselves historically within an unrelenting economy of unsustainable growth.

In Ara Pacis: Tending Toward Fracture, the detail of an eagle’s wing is observed when visiting the Ara Pacis, a monument built in 9 CE to honor Emperor Caesar Augustus and the prosperity his reign brought to the ancient Roman republic. A series of photographs that document an approach to the arctic coastline accompany the marble wing. These objects reflect upon what remains of a place, questioning the impact of conquest and conspicuous consumption.



Bradley Borthwick received his Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from the University of Guelph and his Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture from Cornell University. In addition to projects sited in Italy, Scotland, and Ireland, he has exhibited his sculptural and installation-based works at galleries in Colorado, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Maine. In 2018 he participated in an artist residency aboard the tall ship Antigua, as part of an expedition to the High Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, Norway.

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