Paedra and Transfigured Collages
Transfigured Collages are a continuum, a gestation of all my previous work stretching back 40 years. These collages are my most personal work to date reaching ever deeper into my soul and transgendered self. These Transfigured Collages speak directly to my searches, hungers, frustrations, duality's, to how I view the world, to contradictions, to sexuality, to sacredness. These collages pull from digested influences; from the explicit sexuality of Heironimus Bosch and Asian Indian art, from the lustiness of Rubins and the great Masters, from the repetition of Warhol, Escher and Baroque artists, from the “in your face” of Mapplethorpe and Wesselman, from the brilliance of color of Gaugin. All are ever present in my mind as in “behind the scenes” power and inspiration as I follow my own path and chart my own course. Yes using new tools, the computer, to create these Transfigured Collages. Yes using my most important tool, my thinking questioning brain to create transforming the influences of my age my life into works of art meant to give pause to the viewer. The main tool, the most important tool remains the same: the brain of the artist. Now with a reservoir of digested influences I present you my Transfigured Collages.
I AM at the most exciting period in my art journey having two years ago discovered the incredible creative tool, the computer. LOL ( laughing out loud ) I am like a kid in a magical candy store. This tool has , for the most part, freed me from the drudgery of long hours of manual work and given me the facility to create at the speed of thought AND TO BE OBJECTIVE without the layer of preciousness laid on by time expended on the art at hand.
“tool. 1. any devise of implement used to carry out functions whether manual of by a machine.....” DK Oxford Dictionary
“tool. labor-saving device, implement, instrument ....” Roget’s Thesaurus
I now create art at the speed my mind conceives at or nearly that speed. The speed my fingers can move the computer program tools about. I create art now without falling into the preciousness of the amount of work/time trap which was given for the necessary completion of the piece. Creating complex art done by means other than the computer takes huge amounts of invested time. The amount of time to make changes can be huge. Objectivity suffers as the result. With a stoke of a computer key I can make major changes instantly WITHOUT expending manual time. I can subjectively create; bring my vision to view; THEN with this tool I can nearly instantly make objective decisions/changes to hone the overall effect.
My work is of sacred sexuality. Sexuality which is open and creative and expressive. Sexuality of honoring the bodies we inhabit. Sexuality of consent. Sexuality which is nonjudgmental. Sexuality which celebrates all of one’s anatomy.
I have never been so free [ to create and express ] and childlike [ This is not to imply that one should be a child in creating ones art . To the contrary ! To be able to bring in many many layers of meaning comes from experiencing, chewing on, and living life; from accumulating a vast mental library. Likewise, to look objectively at ones art takes a mature mind. ] AND so intense and focused .....
Using the computer ( to create my art ) is a dance of a free mind ..... of a mind freed !!!
© Paedra Peter Bramhall 2011
Edward loedding Artist and Master Printer of North 7 Studios, Brandon, VT wrote the following:
>>>>> "Something curious (good - no, great) happened with the scaling of Miss Wyld. At it's large size, [ 66" x 106"] the scale of the figure is exactly life-sized. Her presence is alive, and the piece no longer feels like an act of voyeurism, but an act of revelation: like the woman in the piece is directing what is going on, not an artist manipulating elements. It is fully inter-active, participatory. I'm not sure if you were fully aware of how scale would affect the piece, but man, is this scale right for this piece. " <<<<< Written by Edward Loedding 27 March 2011 (Know, Edward hold himself to incredibly HIGH standards and does not say something unless he really means it.) When he is pleased with the results..... when he is REALLY surprised with the results it really says a lot !.
The printing is done on a Roland Symphony 72" wide 12 color printer and for Miss Wyld, 66 " h x 106" wide, took more than 10 hours to complete.
quote of Karen Woolf:
"There is a joy in this work--a real joy, not one based purely in the realm of fantasy. As artists, much of what we do resides in dreams and other worldly-ness, but your work is centered in the tangible joy of now. And that is a gift to your viewers--a gift that Fran Bull understands. And I mean every word. Happiness and joy are rare commodities in these dark days. Your work spreads the light."
quote of Alex Aldrich, Executive Director Vermont Arts Council :
" First, sexuality, both physical and spiritual, is something that we all wonder about, experiment with, explore behind the safety of closed doors and shades, and you have managed to open those doors, shine a bright light on it with vivid colors (maybe a little too vivid at times?) and let the world know Here I Am, This is Me. It takes an enormous amount of courage to do that and I admire you for taking that plunge."
>>This Review was posted in the blog of Debbie Hagan who is Editor and Chief of ART NEW ENGLAND<< (The art publication in the New England states)
13 MAY 2011- 10 JUNE 2011
Ms. Paedra and all that jazz.
Working with Brandon-based master printer Edward Loedding, whose expertise helped to orchestrate and midwife into being these handsome, strikingly innovative large-scale works, it is just possible Paedra has created a unique synthesis of imagery and methodology. Starting with ordinary (if sexually charged or somewhat alarming, as in the instance of a dead mouse) photographic images, then feeding them into the labyrinth of computer programs, Paedra transforms these primary sources into glowing creations unique in the world.
This is an art that is completely self-referential. To crack the code it is necessary scrutinize the canvases long and hard—and then perhaps to abandon the project for the simpler joys of immersing oneself in sensuous color, and sheer beauty. This is art that blares its forthright tunes with unbridled virtuosity–Paedra has art chops to spare—laying out compositional strategies that feel strangely familiar. These are after all, pictures that on one level celebrate pure form, limpid saturated color, dynamic pictorial composition. Each canvas is a bursting cornucopia of myriad shapes, wildly inventive patterns, motifs from every style and period--figuration, abstraction, biomorphic and organic forms—with a palpable tension between formality and exuberance.
Paedra’s is a game of fragmentation, repetition, distortion, a game of scale, of magnification and miniaturization. Images morph and splinter into kaleidoscopic arrays. Ms. Wyld, for example, is a work in which figuration explodes across the canvas becoming, before our eyes, pattern and abstraction. Bold, hot pink lozenge-like forms (lips?) careen outward from the crotch and splayed legs of a woman like fetishes, emissaries of feminine sexuality, suggesting, with a characteristic touch of sly wit and ribald humor, we not take lightly the “womb” power of Woman.
Yet, any attempt to locate this dazzling body of work within the canon of art history is ultimately discouraged. While a brighter than bright palette and certain ironic allusions suggest Pop Art, and certainly Ms. Wyld could be a Pop-derived image, a parody of the Pin-up genre of a Mel Ramos or a Vargas, there is yet a signature exotic quality that discourages such association. If there are allusions to conventional painting subjects—landscape, portrait, color field abstraction, or to the color-play, flatness and iconography of primitive or Aboriginal art, Persian carpets--these are distractions and to cling to them can subvert a deeper experience of Ms. Paedra’s achievement. In this artist’s brave new world, try as we may to categorize and to anchor our responses in the known. Ms. Paedra has other plans for us.
The piece Homage appears at first to be a riot of all over patterning, a landscape of shards, spiky shapes and crystalline arrangements. Closer examination raises curious questions: are these craggy fields based upon human anatomical shapes; is this some icy Arctic landscape?; are these quasi-Cubistic forms Paedra’s quirky extraterrestrials cavorting on some distant planet? We are thus plunged into terra incognita, a curiously beautiful place resplendent with supernatural shapes glowing in a palette almost devoid of all darkness. We are in a land of prisms, a terrain of vertiginous depths. We are in territory encountered in dreams, or visited while under the disorienting influence of the fermented grape, the cactus or the mushroom.
It remains for the viewer to wonder how these pictures are composed and according to what guide. In searching for possible answers, we engage in an intense exercise of scanning, of staring even, at the dazzling and hypnotic orchestrations that comprise these canvases. What treasures are concealed by the din and cacophony? We search, not without a degree of prurience, into the labyrinthine surface mappings. Apart from never really catching glimpses of the “naughty bits” --camouflaged passages promising and never delivering visions of pulsing tumescence--we are, nevertheless led into lairs that could host a range of encounters and out- of- body trysts. As voyeurs and voyagers both, a seriously playful artist has led us on an erotic archaeological dig.
With this powerful new body of work, Ms. Paedra Bramhall has laid out for the viewer a game of hide and seek, an intriguing treasure hunt. In the end, the party she has invited us to is one that celebrates the intrinsic and pure joys of looking at pictures, of being in the presence of innovative art and artfulness, of seeing, discovering, questioning and of risking a surprise encounter with the ineffable and the mysterious.
Fran Bull... Artist... Owner of GALLERY IN THE FIELD
Brandon, Vermont April 2011"
>> This statement Bente Torjusen wrote for inclusion in my book, CONCEPTION which I designed and created and had published for this Exhibition, PARALLEL UNIVERSES - TRANSFIGURED COLLAGES by PAEDRA in both the Rebecca Lawrence and Clifford B West Galleries at AVA (the first time any one artist has been given two Galleries for an exhibit).
"Paedra and AVA
Over the years, as I have known Paedra as Peter; as Peter Paedra; and now as Paedra, some constants have always been evident amidst these transformations; namely the artist's uncompromising commitment to creative exploration, experimentation, risk-taking and hard work, along with a deep respect for, and knowledge of, the craft of art. Sculptor, glass blower, painter, writer, multi-media and performance artist – during nearly thirty years of involvement with AVA, Paedra has persevered and developed with a fierce and idiosyncratic integrity, and it is this integrity that continues to propel all of her diverse, creative projects.
Part of AVA's mission statement declares that the organization is committed to "nurturing and challenging" New England artists. Paedra is an artist who has been both nurtured and challenged by AVA - and vice versa. While Paedra continually challenges us to enter into conversations with projects that can be both disconcerting and uncomfortable, she – in her truly inimitable manner and style – always embraces our uncertainties and questions with flair, and bear hugs.
Paedra's 2005 exhibition installation at AVA, "My Search for the Feminine Divine," was a physical tour de force as well as a probing investigation of gender issues. With "Parallel Universes–Transfigured Collages," Paedra manipulates modern technology to reveal territories both new and previously hidden.
Bente Torjusen, Executive Director, AVA Gallery and Art Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire"
TRANSFIGURED COLLAGES and IMAGES by PAEDRA.
The technical and a bit more.
These Transfigured Collages and Images of my creation are one of a kind Unique Pigmented Prints. Their creation first started in digital cameras then moved to my MAC Computer and then onto friend and fellow artist/master printer Edward Loedding of North 7 Studios, Brandon, Vermont. In working with Edward I have an exclusive partnership where in as an artist I can grow and see personally that my vision is brought forth in all its colorful glory. It is because of his exceptional skills in printing that my Transfigured Collages and Images are so luscious in range and depth of color and feel of vibrancy thru the whole color spectrum. Simply put, Edward has made my vision as conceived and gestated here on this MAC come to reality, and I sincerely thank him for this completion.
Some of Edward's words follow both describing how he feels about this printing series (for my exhibition: PARALLEL UNIVERSES - TRANSFIGURED COLLAGES by PAEDRA 13 May - 10 June 2011 at AVA) and specifically about the printer on which these UNIQUE PIGMENTED PRINTS were made.
" The printer is a Roland Symphony 1270, which is a modified Roland FJ740. The modifications were done by me, Edward Loeddig, which allows the printer to run as a 12 color muti-channel printing system. The inks are Symphonic Ultramax pigment inks. They are the only 100% pigment - 0% dye ink available in the world. The inkset is custom made for me by an independent ink engineer in New Jersey. This [Edward's] system is one of only five 12 color multichannel pigment printing systems in the country, and the only 74" wide one in the country, and it is in Vermont. (None of the other alleged 12 color machines are mutichannel, they are at best hexachrome, which is 6 channels. Edward's is multichannel system is 8 channels.)
The canvas for all images up to 54" wide is Breathing Color Lyve. The varnish is Breathing Color's Glamour II Veneer. It is applied with an HVLP spray system in approximately 20 very thin coats. The 66" wide images are printed on Kilborn Universal Matte canvas and varnished with ClearStar Satin varnish.
The stretcher frames for all images except the 30" x 38" are custom made from poplar with select pine bracing.
Everything is museum quality archival.
Edward on 3-20-2011 wrote the following. I include these words in humble tribute to this skillful and dedicated artist/craftsman/printer.
" I've been working real hard and I'm damn proud of the results. I can say unequivocally that this body of work is the finest prints I've ever created. In fact, I would be confident in asserting that these are the finest digital pigment prints ever created by anyone, anywhere, ever. They are as close to flawless as a print can be. If I were to chose one word that best describes them it would be "luxurious". There is a quality to these colors that is difficult to quantify, but I'll call it a presence. That presence speaks a sort of stillness, which creates an absolutely fascinating dichotomy with the awareness of process and movement that the subject matter conveys. One of the reasons for this horn-blowing, besides pride, is that the best work looks effortless. It looks like "of course, that's the way it's supposed to be". While I said before that I don't require acknowledgement, the truth is that I want at least one person to understand that there is absolutely nothing accidental about these results. Trying to get optimum technical results and maximizing the qualities of the materials while maintaining a faithfulness to the artist's vision is a real jugging act, and I've never pulled it off so perfectly before."
TRANSFIGURED COLLAGES and IMAGES by PAEDRA. www.paedra.com
P O Box 368, 161 Bridgewater Hollow Rd Ext., Bridgewater Corners, Vermont 05035 802-672-5141 firstname.lastname@example.org
All ... Transfigured Collages/Unique Pigmented Prints ...
can be ordered and purchased in individually hand signed, numbered, dated, limited editions which are printed on archival canvas with 100% pigmented inks. The editions are limited to 75. The “small” is in sizes to 38 inches. The “large” can reach to the extraordinary size of 66 inches x 120 inches. There will be none created beyond the given edition #.
In every persons home and business there are numerous deserving locations to hang original pieces of art, to hang a Transfigured Collage. Artist Paedra gives you the owner the beautiful experience to decide upon the correct size to create a dramatic and memorable effect within your home or business enviornment in the numerous locations available to you. Paedra's art does indeed cover many moods and emotions and in this gives you the unique oppurtunity to place and hang more than one Transfigured Collage.
Paedra or her representative looks forward to working with you to make successful your vision.
P owerful v isionary e vocative b eautiful art enriches our lives. This art gives us to pause, to question, to love, and to grow. These are the qualities in life we seek made visual by the gifts, the talent of special artists. Paedra is one such artist.
Paedra can always be reached by email at:
by telephone at: 802-672-5141
My art can always be viewed on the web at:
www.paedra.com and on Facebook at: The Art of Paedra
You can write to me by smail mail to:
Paedra Bramhall, Post Office Box 368, Bridgewater Corners, Vermont 05035-0368
You are most welcome to visit my studios by scheduling well in advance your day and time of arrival Pricing of my work in regards to individual unique sizes can be discussed .
The Upper Valley ..... for that matter, Vermont and New Hampshire, have never seen an Exhibition like the one I will Open 13 May at AVA. ALL of the Transfigures Collages/Unique Pigmented Prints . 22 large up to 66" x 106"on canvas and small 20 matted plus a book CONCEPTION which I created "just" for this Exhibition>>> could not have been created without the use of the computer <<<. The computer is now my tool of choice.
I was basically computer illiterate 4-5 years ago. I am 69 years old which means I started learning for the first time the computer in my mid/late 60's. :)))) not bad for a senior citizen.
I have been honored by AVA in that I have been given BOTH the Rebecca Lawrence Gallery AND the Clifford B West Gallery to exhibit in. I know of no other artist who has received this honor.
I am out and proud in being transgendered BUT>>>>> though I speak with sensitivity and even humor about gender issues in my art, THAT IS NOT JUST WHAT MY ART IS ABOUT. My art reaches far beyond that. Please read the following statements about my art.
© Paedra Peter Bramhall 2011
We live in a world of exploration
even in our everyday lives
and the very clear realization that our planet earth is but a tiny spec
in the very solar system the universe which surrounds us
that we as humans are part of a greater something which we grope to put words to
thus it is left to artists
to take give form thru conception and gestation in the creative mind
to thus give birth to the visual
a visual born within us from the universe within our very being
for it is with that ability to see/think/question
that we see ourselves as inhabitants on this planet within the vastness of space
from the echos of memories genetically passed forward from our own creation
to take form here in digital art portraying Planet Earth.
In these digital images I have created the unknown and the unknowable.
The images of an earth of our planet earth are much more "questions" than answers
as I an individual artist search both ahead and behind in memory space dream time imagine time
of what we this planet are and was and will be.
© Paedra Peter Bramhall 2011
Paedra: Artist Statement
Every artist approaches the female body/soul/mind/being/muse in their own individual way. Each artist puts some part of their own being resulting from any given interaction/moment with a woman into their art. The result can be very one dimensional or there can be many many layers of the artist which show thru, illuminate, speak to who the artist is how that artist thinks and dreams. It has been true of my work that this muse has spoke clearly of my journey, my transgendered self, even before many of the realizations surfaced became immediate and realized in my mind. Yet the concepts which I give focus and thought to (my vision), ask questions about, search to their depths do speak well beyond my own being. This fact has come back to me time and again from individual viewers who have shared their very personal feelings brought forth when viewing my art.
Women will always be my muses. I can not imagine a man being a muse to me. It is with women I identify. It is that part of myself I search for. I do so with positive humor and self directed gentle laughter garnered from my long years as an artist , for it is the beauty I am looking at in the most private intimate aspects of our sexuality. I choose to make the explicit, what some would even call the obscene, subtle, inviting, and seducingly/seductively beautiful . To entrance the viewer with beautiful color and composition and then in that entrancement let the viewer realize what s/he is really looking at.
© Paedra Peter Bramhall 2011