Bradford Davis, MFA 2024

Thesis Exhibition: April 10-13

Reception: April 12, 6-8 pm 

Input, Output (detail) 2023, ceramic stoneware.

Blood, Sweat, and Tears (detail), 2023, rope, plywood, 550 cord.

Artist Statement 

Grasping at concepts of my mental health afflicted by trauma, disabilities, and neurodivergence, I have come to understand and see them circularly. Denying them, acknowledging them, fighting them, and finally finding ways to exist with them. This journey has taken me over a decade of rollercoaster ups and downs, breaking bread with demons I never knew existed. Ironically, clay, something I avoided returning to, has been the greatest catalyst in my adventure of healing. 

The analytical repetitive deconstruction and reconstruction of the archive of trauma I walk with has fueled the direction and urgency of my artistic research. Perhaps for many, the malleability of clay leads to a greater awareness of self, a conversation between the material and the maker. I’d dive a bit deeper to postulate that the unpredictability of the ceramic process from the result of internal and external forces applied upon it during its creation strikes a chord in my brain resulting in a massive dopamine dump. The repetitive nature of process and step-by-step procedure soothes an itch deep within my being. The desire to break, rebuild, and mend works mirrors a decade long attempt at healing. I am searching for beauty, but first I must define what beauty is… or what it means… Is beauty peace of mind for me? Is beauty acceptance of self for me? 

This isn’t a body of work I am presenting to you. This is a collection of responses I've participated in making; it is a collaboration of my hands, my imagination, materials nature, thermal pressures, time, and an ever-spinning Rolodex of traumas and emotional responses. These are the products of a desire to give a face to the unseen… the unexplainable. 

More information about Bradford Davis at @bradfordceramics