films, photographs, sound

RIVER describes a visual relationship between the flow of river and water, memory and place. Images of lagoons, creeks, crows, and forests are shaped with motion and stillness, blur and light, suggesting an unfolding journey charted by currents of memory. Suspended yet moving in their own time, events merge into a haunting dreamlike procession to the sea, an allegory of conscious thought moving to universal mind.


photographs, films, sound

LUMINOUS MATTER depicts an ambiguous allegory of understructure behind visible matter. Cryptic images of elemental forms create an abstract code or obscure visual language, indications of unseen ground. For Cole, time, decay, and disintegration are made visible by adding and subtracting light and metal, through chemically etching and treating the silver with sulfur, selenium, copper, and iron, transforming photographic prints into resonant artifacts.

SEA: Photographs from the edge of the ocean

photographs, films, sound

For twenty years, Brad Cole has photographed the Big Sur coast of California where he lives. The ocean forms an important substrate for the body of Cole's work. Primal and ethereal images of rocks erupting from the depths, of land reaching out to the horizon, and of sea surfaces merging into sky—reflect Cole's attentiveness to the symbolic powers of the ocean as links to the subconscious.



Offering metaphors of human transience, REMNANTS travels an arcane yet contemplative terrain of a vanished past silently dissolving. Crumbling, stretched, and sunken concrete fragments and other human-built artifacts return slowly to their organic states as they are submerged undersea or reclaimed by the land. Some of these images, with their mottled surfaces or vignetted corners, have the feeling of photographs made a hundred years ago.



ICELAND describes a primal volcanic land suffused with mythological suggestions simmering below the surface.
Parallel images of human-built cairns and volcanic cones suggest traces of distant human and elemental interactivity over time. Massive volcanic pillars appear as tall ships traversing a vast, black, desert-plain. Black lava rocks stack into signals and symbols. A landform becomes a dragon advancing upriver. Moss-beings inhabit seething creek beds.



Cole's haunting visual language discloses the austerity of Iceland's dark volcanic lands. Augmenting a sense of time and distance with photographic techniques that harken back to the nineteenth century, ISLANDIA suggests secrets behind the surface of place and points inwards to archetypal memories. Devoid of postmodern irony, an antiquated crust triggers memories of bygone innocence; yet lingering questions remain in murky shadows.

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The photographs on this site are copyrighted and protected under U.S. and international laws. They are included here for viewing purposes only. Duplication and/or use of these images in any form without proper licensing from Brad Cole is illegal. Copyright protections will be vigorously enforced: Infringements may result in an industry standard tripling of our normal licensing fees and a fine of up to $150,000 USD per infringement.