Midnight Special


Australia born 1971
Midnight special 2009

Having studied Fine Art at Monash University in Melbourne, Bridgewater continued his training at the Victorian College of the Arts where he graduated in 1995. His work is often inspired by details observed in the art and architecture of countries visited during his travels in Europe, Asia and Northern Africa.

This work, for example – a bronze cast of a prototype carved in cypress wood – appears to represent a kind of tepee-like shelter and yet its form is derived from the famous rays of divine light, rendered in gilt bronze, that descend from heaven in Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s Ecstasy of Saint Teresa – the great masterpiece of Roman Baroque sculpture.

Whereas the title comes from an American folk song about a passenger train in Texas known as the ‘Midnight Special’. Its headlight shone through the windows of a prison as it passed by, purportedly stimulating thoughts of travel and freedom, and perhaps, salvation for the prisoners. Accordingly, the artist intends this work to provoke thoughts on the nature of hope.

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