I had the opportunity to go to Brady Haston's place the other day. His garage opens up to reveal a super spacious studio, such a great space. Sitting amongst the ink bottles and paint tubes while looking through his sketchbooks, I learned more about his work.
What is the theme of your work?
My work is primarily reflections on Nashville, particularly my neighborhood which is the Dickerson Pike area. I am interested in exploring the past of Nashville and how it intersects with the present. When going to a place, keeping in mind its past while seeing the layers of gentrification of the urban city is a way of continuing the thought process of understanding that place. Some of the pieces reference the past ,some reference the present and some reference the process of skipping back and forth between the two. I work on all the pieces simultaneously- I can’t work on one piece at one time.
What inspires your work?
I’m inspired by my surroundings, it could be as simple as a texture I see outside on a building, or some object I’ll see on the side of the road when driving home. For the most part I am inspired by my neighborhood, what is close to my home. Sometimes I’ll pull something from my sketchbooks but more often than not I am inspired by memory of places. I’ll play with a color, that will lead to shape, one thing leads to another, and soon I’m putting pieces together. I have an abstract way of working, I don’t really have a goal in mind, it develops as I make the work. I’m inspired by history in so much as it helps me learn more about a place. The book “The Chronicles of the Cumberland” written by Paul Clements has inspired my work as well. It’s a collection of first-hand accounts of people who lived in Nashville before western settlement. Some of the accounts of savagery are similar to the level of savagery that happens today. It’s both this past and present that I am investigating.
What are the goals for your work?
I want to keep showing my work in Nashville and be part of the artist community here. Since I teach at Watkins it’s important for me to keep making work so I have credibility with the students. I have realistic goals for myself as a professional artist and am happy showing my work to a local audience.
What are your thoughts on the artist community in Nashville?
I think it’s grown and become more inclusive of young people. The Arcade and Fort Houston are bringing lots of young people in and giving them opportunities to show. When I first started showing in Nashville 15 years ago there were only a few galleries but now there are many more. Namely, there seems to be more commercial galleries around so there’s more volume which is good in creating critical mass and in turn getting more people interested in the visual arts.
Because Nashville is projected to keep growing more galleries will surely open. I think this will be a good place to be a visual artist if Nashville can sustain what keeps itself unique.
You can see more of Brady's work at http://bradyhaston.com/