Mick Bradley remembered
Ian North has written this lovely piece about Mick Bradley:
A memory of Mick Such a dear man…to use an overworked term, an Adelaide icon, raincoat flapping like Columbo's, always giving anyone he met the time of day, like the fictional detective a great conversationalist and an astute observer of life—a fact which fed the humanity of his photography. Disheveled yet stylish in appearance Mick was for more than fifteen years a king of Kent Town boulevardiers—or so he seemed—venturing forth from his studio at the back of the Greenaway Art Gallery, close by the Wakefield Press HQ where his wife Vivian ran the front office.
I often encountered him in the neighborhood. As fellow photographers we wasted many a half hour a decade ago abominating the advent of the so-called meta-medium of digital photography, and the associated cavalcade of over-optioned hardware and software threatening death to photography, as we knew it. He favoured simple gear, manually controlled, and cameras with optical viewfinders, not miniature video screens buzzing with extraneous information.
Mick much admired the work of a Sydney friend, the photographer Roger Scott, both fans and practitioners of street photography. It is not surprising that artists gravitated to Mick to document their work, given his sensitivity to the world ‘out there’.
Notwithstanding our jeremiads, however, he knew full well that he needed digital cameras and Photoshop to craft his magnificent magnum opus, the book City Streets: Progressive Adelaide 75 Years On. As a born flâneur Mick was a natural for the job of visually documenting Adelaide’s CBD, complementing text by Lance Campbell. The resultant publication from the Wakefield Press in 2012, one hopes, will provide at least a little comfort to the family of this respected and much loved figure, as an intense, enduring record of a city Mick Bradley loved in return. — Ian North