He finds materials for his sculpture anywhere from Hawaii’s beaches to household attic collections.
Jozuf Hadley as Bradajo (Brother Jo) also writes and records poetry and short stories in Hawaii’s Pidgin English.
Born on the “Garden Island” of Kaua’i, Hawaii, I absorbed my family’s love for pristine nature as well as the arts, the music, and the mysterious spiritual ways of the indigenous peoples of Oceania.
But it was art history in Art college that awakened a great appreciation for the depths within us from which truly great art comes, and supreme gratitude for the very power and magnitude of what we call creativity, forever present and accessible.
So I pursue this “magic”, allowing arrangements to appear before me through the combining and juxtaposing of natural objects and salvaged things manmade, ranging from children’s blocks and wooden tools to pieces of fine Asian art. It is this concentration of time-toned materials which tantalizes my sensibilities and urges me on into the mystery.
EDUCATION AND SHOWS
- Bachelor of Art Education: California College of Arts & Crafts, Oakland 1961.
- Graduate study at University of Oregon, Eugene 1964-65.
- Solo exhibition of assemblage from shoreline findings: Crossroads Gallery, Honolulu 1968.
- MFA in Sculpture: University of Hawaii at Manoa 1970.
- Commissions for Figurecasting sculpture: Art in Public Places Program, Hawaii State Foundation on Culture & the Arts 1970 and 1974.
- Commission for Figurecasting: Carl Lindquist, Hana, Maui 1975.
- Public high school teacher of Art & Theatre, 29 years.
- Commission for Figurecasting: Castleton State College, Vermont 1993.
- Exhibition of assemblage: Id Space Gallery, Hilo, Hawaii 2011.
- Assemblage selected for juried show: Hawaii Craftsmen, Honolulu 2011.
- Exhibition of assemblage: SKEA Gallery, Honaunau, Hawaii 2011 and 2012.
- Exhibition of assemblage: Living Arts Gallery, Hawi, Hawaii 2012.
- Represented in private collections.
- Creator and host: South Kona Artists Group, 2010 to present.
- Member, Board of Directors: Society for Kona Arts & Education (SKEA) 2012.
- Publication of poetry in Hawaii’s Pidgin English: 4 books and 9 cd narrations 1972 to present.
To purchase Jozuf’s treasured sculptures and endearing books and CDs about Pidgin English, please use the contact form to get in touch with Jozuf directly or call him at
by Stephen Freedman
When I first heard the voice of Jozuf Hadley, the hair stood up on the back of my neck. A rusty voice intoned lilting rhythms, singsong pitch accented haunting lyrics, resolving in miraculous epiphanies. I was amazed, astounded and baffled. How could someone speaking in pidgin possibly succeed in communicating that mystical ‘sense of place and time’ which poets through the ages have sought to cage in adjectives, similes and homilies?
Struggling through iambic pentameter, or the mesmerizing lamentations of Ginsberg’s Howl, we expect sophistication to emerge from complexity. Language is one of those human prerogatives that distinguish us from other animals. Newborn, we grunt and howl as expressively, imperatively and instinctively as any other animal, but with time and leisure, our expressive range often decreases as evolving communities create specialized terms to describe the increasingly complex constructs of our cultures.
Pidgins arise from the most fundamental human need of peoples with different languages to communicate. They are grammatically simplified amalgamations, often technically limited to immediate needs and commonalities of the colliding cultures. At first glance, pidgins appear to involve generalities, perhaps incapable of expressing the subtle nuance of those creoles or lingua franca (bridge languages) in which truly fused languages become one.
Yet, pervading the ethers above and around us, Jozuf weaves stories–myths akin to the mystical structures of Basho Haiku. Sultry moments hanging in air like thick fog, precipitate down upon us like a tropical downpour. A universe appears, discovered by Polynesian paddlers from another century, barefoot children run through island mornings to clapboard missionary school, immigrants from a dozen countries, building myth and magic from castoff phrases, brought into being in a collusion of indigenous and influence, become inseparable.
When Jozuf stopped speaking, he towered above us for a moment like a genie prepared to return to his bottle, then shrunk down to human form, 5 and a half feet of bearded third generation Kaua’ian, speaking fluent erudite American English, a man I’d never met before. All I could think about was the voice that had just left the room.
On Sunday, October 9, 2011, at the Hawaii Island Writers’ Association `Ohana Day, A Celebration of the Arts, from 10:00 to 5:00 P.M. at Keauhou Beach Hotel in Kailua-Kona. Jozuf will read his Pidgin poetry and exhibit his found object sculpture and framed Pidgin prints, along with his books and CD’s available for purchase. From 11:30 to 12:00 Jozuf (Bradajo) will give an informal reading of his Pidgin poetry and short stories.
Honolulu Academy Art Center at Linekona - Oct 6 - Nov 2, 2011
Jozuf will exhibit his found object sculpture at the Annual Hawaii Craftsmen Statewide Juried Exhibition. This show is opening on Thursday, October 6, 2011 from 5:30 – 7:30 P.M. The sculpture will be showing from October 6 through November 2 at the Honolulu Academy Art Center at Linekona. Phone: 808-521-3282.
jozuf at jozufhadley dot com
Honaunau, Big Island, Hawaii
Comments or questions are welcome.