When Bradford Hansen-Smith wakes up in the morning he gives thanks to God first and foremost. There wasn’t anything particularly different about Bradford as a boy. He had the usual passions. One would not have imagined that with age he would find a newer more unusual passion in circles, but as with "Wholemovement"…he seems to have found it.
His path of learning began rather innocuously at the University of Southern California on a short-lived football scholarship. He went to on New York to study art and then back to Chicago where he was able to pick up a fellowship to study sculpture in Italy. After leaving Italy he spent 25 years casting his own bronze sculptures. He became interested in geometrical shapes whilst taking a class in geometry in North Carolina. It was a natural progression from what he was already doing in his sculptures. He no longer considered what he was doing as uniquely art, but something else. Intrigued with how shapes were generated in free space this was the start of what we know today as "Wholemovement".
Bradford spent 10 years studying geometry and its various applications. He realized that the circle was more than just a simple shape. He believed that a circle was a reflection of what was contained within. Folding circles may seem like a pointless action initially, but there is a certain kind of spirituality that comes from "Wholemovement". The belief that a circle is the root of all shapes in the universe can be used as a metaphor for the Creator and his Oneness. The results of his search have been amazing. Beautiful geometrical shapes formed from a simple paper plate. He does not cut the circle in order to manipulate it, he creates hard edged patterns from the initial process of folding the circle.The wonderful aspect of his work is that anyone can create these shapes, perhaps not to the same intricate degree as he, but creating a simple shape is possible. As a result, Bradford has held many workshops for children both nationally and internationally.
Bradford strikes me (The Cee List) as a simple person with simple ideals that may seem complicated to others but really isn't. He doesn’t claim "Wholemovement" as his own, rather he believes that it is a process that can flourish with action. He makes a good point when he says if children were folding circles as much as drawing pictures of them then there wouldn’t be a need for books about them at all.The true understanding of "Wholemovement" comes from the experience of doing it. He has been published several times within the scientific community, but that isn’t his raison d’être.
He is a simple man in his beliefs. His idea of the perfect day is one that embraces everyone, a day where humanity embraces each other. A thought that has a Unitarian sense to it there is much to be learned from "Wholemovement". The ability to simply appreciate the intricate shapes that can be formed from a circle or the belief that all parts come from one complete whole. Bradford, himself, is simple in nature. It’s obvious that his study of circles has been a way for him to reflect on life as a whole. Perhaps Bradford says it best when asked what his greatest accomplishment could be, “Possibly my greatest accomplishment so far is to realize that I am far less than what I thought I would be when I was twenty, and far more than I dared to imagine.”
Uncut Interview with "Wholemovement," Bradford Hansen-Smith
The Cee List: Three words that describe you?
Bradford: Well-Intended -Person
The Cee List: Your idea of a perfect day?
Bradford: Perfection is beyond my imagination, but would have to be the result of all of humanity loving and serving each other with great respect and affection.
The Cee List: Idea of a friend?
Bradford: As stated by a 5th grade student in answer to the question of what the words truth, beauty, and goodness mean to her; she wrote, ‘If I knew a person with those three things they would be my very best friend’.
The Cee List: Which artist inspire you the most & why?
Bradford: God inspires me most, for he has given so gloriously and magnificently to and for each of us his best effort. Then I would have to say Vincent Van Gogh and Constantin Brancusi, both for their passion and dedication to understand what was given them. Van Gogh for his deeply felt humanity, and Brancusi for his physicality.
The Cee List: Your favorite place you've lived or visited?
Bradford: I try to be sensitive to the unique beauty and character of where I am without comparing my pleasure; but then there is the high desert, the sky, light, air …
The Cee List: Favorite charitable cause?
Bradford: I have no favorite, but do try my best to be as charitable to others as I am capable at any given time and circumstance.
The Cee List: Your Utopia?
Bradford: I have no idea about Utopia, but I’m sure that it must include everyone, otherwise it is not Utopia, only another gated community.
The CeeList: What is your greatest fear?
Bradford: Even small fears are great, even as a little pebble in the shoe, walking in sand looking for soft ground.
The Cee List: First thing you do when you wake up
Bradford: To give greetings to God with thanks for being aware that I sleep and am awake. Sometimes we discuss the day. After a shower, forty-five minutes of yoga, engaging a cup of tea and toast, and a few hours of work, I have breakfast and again begin the adventure of a lifetime.
The Cee List: What is your greatest accomplishment thus so far?
Bradford: Possible my greatest accomplishment so far is to realize that I am far less than what I thought I would be when I was twenty, and far more than I dared to imagine.
The Cee List: Free style ( anything thing you want to say to the world)
Bradford: While the world fights itself for a piece, let us individually hold each other in our trials and tribulations, in comfort and love, in sorrow, and care for each others brothers and sisters, children we are, that we may ease the burden of physical pain, spiritual longing, and mental anguish, for each other for as many times as we are called, and one day we will find we have made a beautiful peace; and pieces will no longer be as importance as they seem to be.