Until Dec. 11, The Gallery at Penn College, on the third floor of the Madigan Library at Pennsylvania College of Technology, will host an unlikely alchemy of the natural and mystical worlds as captured in the artwork of Virginia Bradley and Chris Malcomson.
After meeting in 2004, the two artists discovered that their seemingly contrasting works complemented each other with a common reliance on the intuitive.
As a traveler, collector and voyeur, Bradley collects and documents images from the natural world and from cultures she has observed and uses them as source material for her work. Animal imagery, as represented in natural history, is a main theme.
Artwork by Virginia Bradley, left, and Chris Malcomson, above, will be on display at the Gallery at Penn College until Dec. 12.
"I am intrigued by the 'instinct' or 'sixth sense' that animals possess, as well as their primordial sense of purity and beauty," Bradley said. "An animal's innate instinct for survival correlates to the intuitive process that is active in my painting."
She uses printmaking and mixed media to create a dialogue among the printed image, the natural handmade mark and the alchemy of disparate materials.
Bradley sees printed marks as catalysts for her paintings.
"The juxtaposition of the two processes emphasizes the ephemeral," she said. "I am interested in a possibility of "slippage" in the work - moving from one dimension to another.
Bradley is a professor of art at the University of Delaware. She holds a master of fine arts in painting from the University of South Florida, Tampa, and a bachelor's degree in painting and printmaking from the University of Miami. She resides in Philadelphia and has a studio at the Crane Arts Center.
In his previous career as a civil engineer in England, Malcomson's ability to see the essence of a problem was honed, and a desire to capture that essence led him to the minimalist style of painting.
"I have a long interest in both Jungian and transpersonal psychology, the poet Rumi, and icons," he said. "These influences are reflected in my paintings, which in part are studies in form and color recalling 'inner landscapes,' and in part invitations to travel internally without defining a destination."
Malcomson attended the Chelsea College of Art and Design, London, and maintained a studio at Great Western Studios, London, before moving to the United States. He lives, and maintains a studio, in Philadelphia.
About her husband, Bradley said, "I think about Chris as a color field painter re-imagined in 2011. He is very interested in the spiritual process of making art. Barnett Newman, Rothko and Malevich are his anchors and influence his process."
As far as her own influences are concerned, Bradley named Sigmar Polke, Gerhard Richter and Agnes Martin.
Bradley hopes that the art intrigues viewers enough for them to really look.
"I hope the viewers are interested and surprised by the imagery enough to pause, enter the paintings and spend a few moments in alternative world and environment," she said. "It's up to the viewer to bring their own experiences to the work to consider where and when the painting might exist. Hopefully the paintings present new perceptions and possibilities on how the see their everyday life.
The gallery is open from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday; 2 to 7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday and Friday; and is closed Saturday and Monday.
The gallery will be closed Nov. 23 to 27.