Honor Bradbeer was born in 1980 in Melbourne, into a family that welcomed and encouraged creative aspiration when it arose.
Her first formal art training, from the age of eight, consisted of weekly lessons in the discipline of Chinese ink brush painting. This foundation, untypical for an Australian child, instilled in her an understanding and love of the subtle interdependence between ink, water and paper, which are still the media with which she feels the strongest affinity. Later training, at RMIT, under the tutelage of Jim Taylor, uncle Godwin Bradbeer and Irene Barberis, deepened her appreciation of historical and contemporary drawing practice. The optimistic atmosphere of the drawing department fostered a fierce sense of the importance and potential of drawing, which has since sustained her through both bright and bleaker seasons.
Bradbeer graduated with a Masters in Fine Art from RMIT in 2008. She has held seven solo exhibitions in Melbourne and Sydney, and exhibited in group shows nationally and internationally.
Bradbeer is currently Head of Drawing at the La Trobe College of Art and Design, where she has taught for seven years.
The purpose of Bradbeer’s work is philosophical. While her subject-matter may be figure, object or landscape, the central objective of her engagement is to learn and distil from her subjects some primal guidance for being alive.
Bradbeer’s drawing process involves countless surface abrasions. She works primarily with ink on heavyweight paper, using an unorthodox method of erasure with water to reclaim passages of light from ink-stained surfaces. There is a lot of damage required to bring the drawing into being. The act of delving for buried 'light' provides a useful working metaphor for the conceptual process, and brings with it a paradoxical solace: the damage and the light are the same.