Photographer Aaron Bradbrook On Creativitiy

SONY DSC‘Borderland’, photographer Aaron Bradbrook’s first full scale work will be unveiled at The Perth Centre for Photography on Thursday.

Bradbrook, who won the 2012 Uncover Award, set his goals high for his first major exhibition, exploring the nature of creativity itself and setting himself the challenge of creating his own artistic voice.

‘Borderland’ grew out of his curiosity with ideas and where they come from. Are ideas ingrained in our subconscious or are they present in our everyday surroundings, waiting to be discovered?

Bradbrook refined his search for answers to the walls of his own home, creating scenes from his imagination, some emerging from ‘Hypnagogia’ (the transitional state to and from sleep, which is also known as “the borderland state”).

Bradbrook chatted to OUTinPerth ahead of the exhibitions opening.

How are you feeling just before the show opens?

I’m feeling good. It’s a piece of work that I’ve been working on for a couple of years. I feel like it’s ready to show now, I’m feeling confident. Over the last few years I’ve been slowly piecing it together. I’m almost looking forward to it being up so I can stop thinking about it. There comes a point where you have to say, it’s there, it is what it is, and I don’t have to make any more decisions.

How did this project start, what were the seeds of the creative process?

I’ve done some documentary style work in the past, and I just really wanted to a personal work that was linked to everything I enjoyed, the surrealism of movement, the style of shooting that I love. At the start I just wanted to get to the bare bones of my own creativity and the creative progress. I just wanted to figure out what it is and where ideas come from.

You know when you’re just sitting there and an idea comes up, it’s just an instinctual thing, you don’t really know where it comes from. It just happen, I really wanted to explore that moment.

Untitled from the series Borderland 2012-014Is there a danger as a creative person that if you analyse it too much, you end up breaking it?

Yes, definitely. I mean for the work itself it’s just a whole bunch of random ideas that I’ve had and taken photographs, I get other people to look at them and read them. I’ll be like, “Oh is that what you see?” Other people see things in my work that I don’t even see. I can’t really read my own work; it comes straight from my subconscious.

Has completing this project changed your photography style?

Definitely, part of doing this project was to find my own style. Especially coming out of Uni, I don’t know what other people do, but I get the sense that because people are referencing a photographer or artists that they like for four years, that they develop a style that is similar to what they like.

With this project I wanted to try and let that go and not shoot photos where you could see clear references to artists that I aspire to be like. I’ve tried to drop it down and find my own style.

It sounds like a very hard thing to do.

It has been, I’ve put away a lot of artists book which have clear visuals, I put all those books away and started reading a lot more text based works by theorists and philosophers. So it definitely has changed the way I look, it’s more natural and more organic.

‘Borderland’ opens at the Perth Centre Photography at 100 Aberdeen Street, Northbridge on Thursday 26 September and runs through until Saturday 26 October. More info at



Graeme Watson, Image: Untitled from the series Borderland 2012-13. Aaron Bradbrook copyright 2013.


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