Painting the Way to an Artistic Future

Queensland College of Art alumnus Krystal Bradford is bringing her love of painting, drawing, mixed media and colour exploration to her own pop-up, artist in residence exhibit in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley.

Running from 19 May until 1 June 2023 at Studio on Brunswick, the exhibit will showcase Mrs Bradford’s recent abstract works which seek to navigate the relationships between colour, texture and surface, all while mapping memories and her surrounding landscapes.

Holding a Bachelor of Visual Art, Fine Arts (Excellence) degree as well as a post-graduate Bachelor of Secondary Education qualification from Griffith University, Mrs Bradford’s early career saw her selected to showcase her work in various emerging artists’ exhibitions and gallery spaces throughout Brisbane, which helped to kick-start her contemporary sculpture and textile practice.

Now working as a visual art teacher, students are being inspired by her journey and influences to find their own potential and follow their passions.

“My lecturers gave me confidence in the things that I was passionate about, so I try to do that with my school students too,” Mrs Bradford said.

Krystal Bradford in the studio
Artist and QCA Alumnus Krystal Bradford

“If they’re really focusing on a certain concept or theme, I’ll encourage them to push the boundaries to empower them and let them see that if you love something and you keep at it, you’ll find your place in the world whether it’s fine art, design or any other niche.”

Mrs Bradford majored in painting but found her favourite electives were life drawing, which led to her interest in the human form and the role of women in society, eventually leading to an interest in textiles.

“I moved on to these installations with fabric and sewing, and it all became very pattern orientated,” she said.

“My current canvases are reminiscent of that period of time, referencing symbols from history, plus all these other worlds I’ve now seen throughout my life.

“I learned from some amazing lecturers such as Pat Hoffie, Ian Friend, Jenny Watson and Richard Dunlop who are all nationally-recognised artists, who really nurtured me and were such great guides and supports for me, even when I was pushing outside the tradition of just painting.

“I was fully supported through my theory and research and felt like I’d really achieved some of my artistic dreams by the time I graduated.

“I will always recall that time as the best few years of my life.”

Krystal’s ultimate goal is to evolve her aesthetic curiosities and cultivate a visually enticing experience for her audience as she balances her family, commissions and full-time art teaching career.

If you want to turn your creativity into a career, our Creative Arts Open Day is the best way for you to explore what Griffith has to offer.

Immerse yourself in hands-on experiences run by expert instructors in every study area–from design and visual arts, to music, performing arts, film, animation and more.

You’ll be able to chat with current students, study advisers and academics, learn about Griffith degrees and admission pathways, and get a taste of university life through guided tours, information sessions and interactive workshops.

It’s happening Sunday 21 May from 10am to 2pm at our South Bank campuses.