The Australian landscape is full of paradox: colonised land and wild bush; droughts and flooding rains; serenity and danger. During a residency at Bundanon, Jacqueline Bradley started making sculptural objects that respond to these paradoxes and explore her own relationship with the land in a humorous and light-hearted way. Just like The Lemonheads’ song ‘Outdoors Type’ that the exhibition title alludes to, Bradley thinks an outdoors type is a great thing to be, but is under no illusions about her comfort or prowess in the wild.
Accordingly, The Outdoors Type features wearable art - in the truest sense of the words - that intends to help the wearer (and by proxy, the viewer) engage with the environment in novel ways. Boat Dress opens up the possibility of using rivers for transport and recreation, without fear of being swept away and drowned like a father and daughter in colonial times at Bundanon. Another of Bradley’s marvels, Ladder Shoes, intends to keep the wearer safe from snakes whilst traversing a grassy plain.
Excerpt from catalogue essay by Annika Harding; photograph by Brenton McGeachie.