Elaine Bradford is a mixed-media artist who lives and works in Houston, TX. When she was young, Bradford was taught to crochet by her grandmother and has worked with this craft throughout her life: “The repetitive process of taking a single strand of yarn, looping it together with a hook, and creating a fabric is like a magic trick. It’s simple in execution and produces astounding results. The act of making sweaters brings to mind hours of labor, societal histories, and concepts of comfort and warmth.”
The artist’s recent work involves the surreal combination of crocheted sweaters and taxidermy animals. Bradford says, “These ‘trophy’ animals are such odd objects to begin with, putting them in custom sweaters makes them that much more peculiar. . . The materiality and familiarity of the crochet allows the viewer to be drawn in and have empathy for the trophies. This absurd domesticity resurrects these inanimate objects and brings them into a new life.”
Bradford holds a MFA from the California Institute of the Arts and a BFA from the University of Texas at Austin. Her work has been exhibited in numerous group shows throughout the United States and several recent solo shows in Houston, Austin, and St. Louis. She is a founding member of Box 13 ArtSpace and is a member of the Artist Board of DiverseWorks and the Programming Committee of Lawndale Art Center, all in Houston. Bradford was the recipient of a 2008 Individual Artist Fellowship Grant from the Houston Arts Alliance.