Anahita (Ani) Bradberry is an Iranian-American artist and writer creating sculptural situations with plasma light. Her work combines illuminated rare gasses within glass tubes amongst natural and industrial materials, often exploring a state of alienation that is defined by oscillating identities and cultural memory. She finds the lack of predictability in materials such as neon gas and other organic matter as a valuable characteristic, allowing the artwork autonomy and evolution over time.
As organic bodies and minimal geometries, her practice is an exercise in life-forming: filling fragile tubular vessels with pulsing plasma. Each object is simultaneously a multidimensional line and a borderless field of light.
Observing the relationship between illumination and life, she focuses her practice on how the art-viewing experience can become radical and communal. Rare gas lamps are essentially alive: “mortal” in their limited lifespan of approximately 15 years, prone to unexpected internal behaviors, and reliant on external power sources. Emphasizing chemical beauty and uncanny activation of sensory memory caused by plasma light, Ani has experimented with neon minimalism and, recently, installations in earth and water. Ranging from glassblowing to gardening, the processes of fabrication and installation required to realize Anahita's dreams are both meditative and dangerous.
Her path into art-making was paved in graduate study of Japanese Modern and Contemporary Art History, with special attention to Mono-ha, Gutai, Jikken Kobo, and the avant-garde photography of Otsuji Kiyoji. Post-thesis, she continues to reflect on these collectives’ exhibition practices that sparked collective conversation between material autonomy, organic matter, play, and poetic humanism.
Anahita has been featured in exhibitions at Women & Their Work Gallery (TX), ArtSpring Lichtkunstfest (Berlin), Dominique Gallery (LA), Two Six Eight Bowery (NYC), the Washington Project for the Arts (DC), Transformer (DC), VisArts (VA), the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center (DC), George Washington University's Gallery 102 (DC) and CICA — the Czong Institute for Contemporary Art (South Korea). Anahita earned an MA in Art History in 2015 on Japanese Modern and Contemporary Art from American University (Washington, DC), conducting primary research in Tokyo with the help of a Mellon Grant and lecturing on her research at the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2016. She later assisted in the archival projects at the Smithsonian National Museum of Asian Art. During her time in DC, she co-founded DIRT: an accessible online platform for unconventional art criticism and intimate artist interviews.
Washington Post — In the galleries: Depicting nature’s vital, ephemeral connections (2018)
Washington Post — In the galleries: Tehran doesn’t reveal itself readily (2017)
Washington City Paper — Now More Than Ever (2017)