ANU School of Art EASS Patron Keith Bradley AM on collecting art
The Bradley Allen Love law firm in Civic could almost be mistaken for an art gallery. As a supporter of the arts for over a decade, lawyer and EASS Patron Keith Bradley AM has a collection that overflows from the office to his home, then into his family’s homes.
“I’ve been collecting for about 12 to 15 years, and I own works across the broad spectrum of photography, glass, woodwork, painting, and sculpture. I find it very enjoyable”, he says.
Works by graduates Sally O’Callaghan, Joel Arthur, Yioryios Papayioryiou and Sara Freeman adorn the office and board room walls, and that’s only what’s on view at work.
“Our home in Fadden is over run with art. The walls are full so I’ve had to move out into the gardens. I’ve got ceramic tiles by Oscar Blyth going up the front of my house, overlooking the Brindabella Valley.”
Buying art for living spaces is something Bradley is particularly passionate about.
“I think it’s sad when people spend an awful lot of money on their houses but don’t have the daring or the bravery or the inventiveness to buy something that expresses their personality, or something that’s a bit quirky, or interesting or beautiful”, he says.
“The only trouble is with all this art you feel you never want to move from the house! It’s all too entrenched. But I get a great deal of fun and satisfaction out of it.”
He also likes to meet artists whose works he buys, and have them over to view the work in its new home.
“The University medalist from last year, glass artist Hannah Gason, came over with her husband to install her lovely piece on the wall.”
Asked what will happen when he runs out of space, Bradley paused, then admitted “that’s a problem, yes.”
But he’s tackled that issue so far by assisting his family to also acquire art. “My most recent purchase from this year’s graduating exhibition was three very beautiful photographs by Monica Styles. They’re going to go into my daughter’s new place in Campbell, and I think they’ll look very snappy in a modern apartment.”
“The other item I bought is a bit law related – we’ve got a commercial conveyancing department here in our law firm and there’s a terrific collage by Emma Holland that will suit that space.”
While Bradley loves buying art for the office, he doesn’t do it alone, but with help from business partner Bill McCarthy who is on several of the arts boards in the ACT.
“He’s a wonderful collector with a very good eye and he enlivens the walls of our office with a lot of the art that he buys”, Bradley says. “But I concentrate on art from ANU School of Art, which I love to support.”