Brad Rusbridge has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout Australia since 2013. He was the winner of the M Collection Art Award in 2015 and has been shortlisted for various other awards, most recently as a finalist in the Geelong Contemporary Art Prize 2016. Solo exhibitions include Paranoid Valley (Platform), In the Shadow of Progress (The Substation) and Dream Sequence (c3 Contemporary Artspace).
“I will go on a trip. I will leave my apartment, my permanent part-time and casual employment, my everyday rewards card, my tennis pals. I will go to Indonesia, emerald of the equator. There will be expats there - journalists, artists and academics - complaining about this and that. There will be durian and rambutans, drenching rain and hotness. I will make friends with malaria, I will sleep with the tokek, I will rise to the swishing of one-handed brooms. Goodbye Melbourne. Goodbye mum. Goodbye chiropractic contour pillow and Weet-Bix for breakfast - your absence is a trial I must overcome. With my routine thrown to the wind, I will make new routines. Perhaps a walk to the Kraton and back in the morning, I will buy the Jawa Pos and look at the pictures over chicken porridge. Why not do something like this? I seem to have reached that well-trodden threshold, not uncommon among near-to-middle-aged males with histories of diffidence and timidity, where the future is a void that wants filling with something uncomfortable and outlandish. A pair of leather pants. A bungee cord. A Tinder account. Anything but what I am and what I’ve been.”
The Trip is an exploration of escapism that finds its expression through the practice of painting. In their creation, these paintings have been a way for the artist to journey away from the everyday and to imagine a place somewhere else; a nostalgic wander down memory lane, a surreal trip of psychedelic discovery, a parallel universe, a move from figuration towards abstraction, a strange and ambiguous dream - all without having to leave the confines of the studio.
This exhibition precedes an actual trip that will be taken by the artist at the beginning of March for the remaining 10 months of 2017. In no way a seasoned traveller, The Trip has allowed Rusbridge to develop a certain mental preparedness with regards to his upcoming travel by having already imagined a number of scenarios where anything is possible. The paintings in The Trip are intended to herald this embrace of the unexpected and the unknown.