William Brady - Part 1Centerville, Pennsylvania

~Brady 1

A slideshow containing images by photographer Fred Scruton.

Mid Atlantic Region

Mid Atlantic

Self-Taught Sculptor near Centerville, Pennsylvania

William Brady (b. 1943)

Art by William Brady

Art Type or Medium: Drawing; Environment/Installation; Sculpture

Viewable: arrangements for a visit can be made

Secular or Religious: Secular

As a young boy in the 1950’s, Bill Brady’s severe dyslexia was little understood. At home, he learned metalworking alongside his father, an accomplished blacksmith, but after the ninth grade, Bill was counseled to give up schooling, and he dropped-out to take a series of menial jobs. While living in New England, he would supplement his meager wages by producing imitations of early American tinware. Later, he began to create personal sculptures from the numerous drawings in his sketchbooks— which also contain renderings of planes, ice boats (including one he built), futuristic housing designs, dirigible barns, kite-driven sailboats, and hot air balloons…

In Maine, Brady bought a Navy surplus bus and fabricated a workspace and sleeping loft by replacing the back end and a section of the roof with sculptural skylights. In the early 1970’s he drove to California, lived on a “bus commune,” and learned to fly ultra-light planes over the coastline. Still parked in the backyard after he drove back to rural Pennsylvania in the 1980’s, Bill continues to sleep under the stars and enjoy the immersion of thunderstorms raging around the glass walls and ceiling of his high perch.

Brady listens to books and periodicals on tape while he snips, hammers, and solders in the back of his bus. His sculptures are made from tin-plated steel sheets and welding rods: the many curved elements are hammered into rounded halves and soldered together. From these limited materials, Bill Brady’s sculptures evoke plants, animals, spaceships, earthly vehicles, animated three-dimensional doodles, Modernist abstractions, figures, cartoon characters, and more…

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