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My Brother and the Beast | Eric Bridgeman
March 15, 2018 - April 14, 2018
The shield has always been associated with conflict, used in times of battle as personal armour and as potent symbol of power to attackers. In PNG culture, battles between tribes are a common means of dealing with disputes and maintaining social order. Here, the shield plays an important role in displaying status and power.
Eric Bridgeman, however, sees this icon of warfare as a protector; of untold stories, undocumented histories and fading cultural practices. His recent work revolves around reigniting traditional designs in his homeland, and in doing so, creating pathways for renewed interest in cultural heritage. Having inherited the rite to design ritual shields from his grandfather, who was a respected warrior, Bridgeman has worked with his family and friends in the PNG Highlands to revitalise the shield, and in doing so, create paintings within a contemporary art context. Integrating this into his own artistic practice, Bridgeman creates his own personal narrative.