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'Abstract Man', 2008

Chinagraph and pastel dust on paper.

140cm x 174 cm

Courtesy: Artist & James Makin Gallery

Godwin Bradbeer

My drawings seek the credible portrayal of the miracle of existence over pictorial descriptions of character, narrative or ideology.


The constant object of the work is to find within the human subject a universal aspect that suggests a residual capacity – increasingly remote as that seems -  for transcendence.


In this pursuit my figurative art draws upon the primitive, the classical and the contemporary aesthetics of many cultures and disciplines.


The holocaust of the second world war, together with the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki has been the measurement of humanity at its nadir. An abiding aspect of my work, however beautiful, ordinary or unlovely is this awfulness about ourselves.


In my youth I wanted stark objectivity in my work, in these later years I wish that my work be charged with a compassion that by-passes cliché and bathos and a humanitarian empathy that has no borders.


Nov 2015




Godwin Bradbeer is a Melbourne based artist with a reputation for intense and large scale figurative drawing. He has taught at the University of Melbourne, the Victorian College of the Arts, Monash University and other art schools in Australia and in Asia. From 2005 until 2010 he was the Head of Drawing in the School of Art at RMIT University in Melbourne.


Despite substantial experience as a photographer and a painter his most definitive practice is most frequently in various modes of drawing.


Bradbeers’ work is included within the collections of the Australian National Gallery, the National Gallery of Victoria, The Art Gallery of N.S.W., the Art Gallery of South Australia, Parliament House, Canberra, the Archive of Humanist Art, Commonwealth Art Bank, Lim lip Museum, Korea, Korean Art Institute, the University of Western Carolina, U.S.A. and other institutional collections nationally and internationally.


His work has also been shown frequently at the Art Gallery of N.S.W. in the Dobell Drawing Award, the national award  for drawing  in Australia (1992 – 2012), a prize that he won in 1998.


Bradbeer has held over forty solo exhibitions and in 2006-2007 the survey exhibition; ‘Godwin Bradbeer - The Metaphysical Body’ toured eight regional galleries in Australia.


He is included in many publications on Australian art, most recently;‘Critical Moments’ by Jeff Makin  (MacMillan, Australia,  2011), ‘Contemporary Australian Drawing #2’ by  Janet McKenzie (Palgrave - Macmillan 2012), ‘Twenty Years -The Dobell Drawing Prize’ (AGNSW, 2012). In 2014 a collection of his poetry was published by Metasenta under the title ‘Half Truths’.


The artist is represented in Melbourne by the James Makin Gallery, in Sydney at the Annandale Galleries and in Adelaide by BMGArt.

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