‘An Artist Explains…’ is a new feature on the AÁE website, where we hear from one Galway based artist and learn a little bit about their practice, inspiration and ideas. In our second article for ‘An Artist Explains…’  Peter Bradley discusses his recent piece ‘Niche’ (2015).

Bradley: Having had an obsession with identity and gender appropriation from a young age, my practice is inspired by those individuals who do not feel constrained by out-dated ideas of what is acceptable or expected from one’s gender. My paintings are an analysis of identity presentation between and beyond the gender binary and a celebration of self-expression. Particular attention is paid to the evolution of modern masculinity and the increasingly widespread acceptance that what makes you male is not what makes you a man.

Recent developments in equality with regard to both sexuality and gender recognition mean we have entered an age of advanced social change. My newest works have become an investigation of these sociological and psychological advancements.

‘Niche’ in particular began as a very experimental piece which has led to a significant change in both the process and the aesthetic of my work.  Using a mix of realism and expressionism to explore the interaction of the figure with space, the aim was to create charged environments for the figure to inhabit through the use of colour, shape, transparency, and layered composition. The abstract space in which the figure is placed helps focus attention on the psychological state of the character. Perhaps a visualisation of the struggle to ‘find your place’ or perhaps representing an external manifestation of internal questioning.

Words: Peter Bradley

Bradley is a Galway native who has returned home after completing a degree in Fine Art/Painting at the Limerick School of Art and Design in 2014. He was the winner of the prestigious R.C. Lewis Crosby award for painting at the RDS student art awards 2013. Bradley is based in Engage Art Studios, Augustine Street, Galway.

More information on Peter Bradley’s work can be found online at: