A Ship's Crew, 2022
Bard Peoples, Western Australia
Born 1968, Northampton, Nhanda Country, Western Australia
Lives and works Walyalup | Fremantle, Whadjuk Boodja, Western Australia
Ron Bradfield is a storyteller and for many years spinning yarns has been his primary artistic medium, weaving words and conversations with generosity, humour, charm, and wit to share stories of his life and those of his loved ones. In recent years Ron has explored new modalities of storytelling, working as a visual artist, and creating works which chronicle his own life experiences. For Ron, the making process is one of much consideration and reflection and can sometimes be a space of unease as he continues to navigate two worlds, two versions of Australia, Indigenous and non-Indigenous.
The ambitious works exhibited in Undertow, including newly commissioned works are a record, a kind of manifesto, bringing together and reconciling Ron’s life to date, honouring his two saltwater families and experiences, both of which have shaped his life. This is a story of a Bard, saltwater man from the Kimberley who went on to join the Royal Australian Navy. The works presented in these rooms pay tribute to ancestors and comrades alike, whose struggles and triumphs are inscribed into Bradfield’s story, into his liyan, at the very centre of his being.