MATTHEW BRADLEY | STUDIO HEATER OVEN

MATTHEW BRADLEY
STUDIO HEATER/OVEN
ARTE MAGRA
AUSTRALIAN EXPERIMENTAL ART FOUNDATION

2013

EXHIBITION TEXTS

'chop your own wood and it will warm you twice' - Henry Ford

I've started working in the shed in the backyard this year. It's been freezing out there, almost too cold to work. I decided to make a wood burning heater.

The metal cylinder which forms the main body of the heater comes out of an old electrical hot water system that no longer works. Wood fire is an older technology so in a way the heater is going into technological reverse. As my being able to make work into the future will depend on me being warm enough in the studio, this solution of a woodburning heater reminds me that progress is not always achieved by just moving forward on a straight path. Sometimes we are able to advance by going backwards.

The heater will be an intrinsic part of my creative process and perhaps therefore as much an art work as anything I make whilst fueled by its heat. The heater, the warmth and capacity to work and the work output itself all seem intra- rather than inter-related which challenges the discreteness of the output. The separateness between the process and the outcomes become less obvious. Increasingly I am interested in shifting and distorting the framing of work and the conventions of the exhibition, in doing so they start to appear arbitrary, artificial and ultimately very malleable.