Murphy & Cadogan Artist Interview: Hadley Radt

Hadley Radt

You say your work is strategic and systematic. Does this mean that you come up with a logic and method to your patterns before you start working? Or do the logic/methods develop during the process, and you can never be quite sure how it is going to turn out?

I start with an idea for the overall structure of the piece, I have a rough sense of what it will look like as a whole. As I zoom into the detail, I begin to create a logic and method to the patterning and repetition. I construct systems within my mark making, counting each individual mark. The piece always shifts and changes during the process. I intentionally and unintentionally interrupt the systems I build, creating unexpected glitches that break the pattern and move the piece in an unplanned direction.

I completely relate to the way art can distract from anxieties that are experienced pretty much 24/7. When do you think you learned how much art helps you with that?

In 2012, my older brother was living in South East Asia and I got the opportunity to visit him in Thailand. There, we spent every night drawing/doodling in our sketchbooks. We got into the flow of using repetition to create patterns that wove together. I began counting the marks I was making, creating networks of systems that allowed me to find order within disorder. Those moments were healing and therapeutic for me. When I returned to the states, I brought the same mark making and logic into my paintings. Since then, I have found my process to be meditative, I create routines and order to refocus my
compulsions and anxious energy and allow me to feel a sense of control.

I’m interested in the human “interruptions” that break your patterns either intentionally or unintentionally. When do you choose to make intentional breaks?

I am interested in the human quality of my work. I enjoy moments when the marks are imperfect and the viewer can see my hand. I do not want the pieces to appear as if a computer could have made them. As I am working on a piece, I will find moments to intentionally make these “mistakes” or human interruptions, allowing the work to become less mechanical.

What opportunities or new questions have you been allowed to explore because of your MFA experience? What advice would you give artists considering an MFA?

Throughout my MFA experience, I have begun to consider and explore terrains of connections; physical, psychological, emotional, neurological, etc. I am interested in the depiction of these connections and tracking layers of information. I am looking at repetition and geometry in both the natural and built environment. Including; maps, aerial views, architecture, fractals in nature, particle formations, and magnetic fields. Our environment is full of repetition and pattern, I am intrigued by this order and it
influences the structures I create in my work. CCA has deeply expanded my thoughts about what I am making and why, I look forward to continuing this investigation! The advice I would give artists considering an MFA is to take the dive. Jump in with both feet, be honest and vulnerable. Allow yourself to explore, ask questions, play, and fail.

What do you hope to achieve next in your career? What big dreams and goals do you have for your creative work?

I hope to share my art with people all across the globe. I am curious how the viewer experiences and connects with my work and it inspires me. I am also very excited to continue to make large wall drawings, creating environments of controlled chaos in which the viewer feels consumed. This is an exciting path that I look forward to continuing!

About Hadley Radt:

Hadley Radt is a student in the MFA program at the California College of the Arts. Finding patience and calm in art-making, Radt uses mark making to create a network of systems and patterns that build and deconstruct by establishing a logic and method. Radt is the recipient of the 2016 Cadogan Scholarship.

About the Interviewer:

Olivia Reed is a rising senior at Oberlin College, majoring in English with a minor in studio art. She is originally from the Bay Area.