Visit the Woodbourne Library to view Grounded / Ground Down
featuring the work of R. Darden Bradshaw
. Bradshaw is Associate Professor of Art Education and Area Coordinator for Art Education at the University of Dayton. Holding both a Ph.D. in Art History and Education and an M.F.A. in Fiber Art from the University of Arizona, Tucson, Bradshaw works primarily with the historically rich and labor-intensive processes of wet and needle-felting, quilting, and weaving. She celebrates and draws attention to the often overlooked or unacknowledged. Honoring a familial and ancestral history of women’s handwork, her work comments on the interrelationship of memory and experience in place calling forth specific geographic locations and the people who inhabit those locales. Time exerts and ever-present push and pull both within the content, process, and the medium of Bradshaw’s work.
R Darden Bradshaw's abstract felted landscape works physically and metaphorically bind together experiences of place, walking, and the literature of place as a means to examine cultural and social constructs. Using natural dye processes with locally farmed wool, Bradshaw first wet felts large colorful abstract compositions onto a natural ground. Color signifies an embodied experience of the land and reflects the memories carried – both those that can be uttered and those that defy language. Then once dry, the felted works are cut apart and re-mixed, felted again into new compositions that reflect, reference, and visually map destruction, tension, and displacement of place and community.