Earnest ‘Tawck GBAK’ Bradley is an artist of Ngāpuhi and Samoan descent, born and raised in the Western suburbs of Auckland, New Zealand and now residing in Whangarei, New Zealand’s regional capital of the northern region. A conscious decision to pursue art full time saw Tawck flee to the UK in 2011 where he kickstarted his professional tattoo career in Bournemouth, England. He later returned to Whangarei in 2013 to set up Memory Lane Tattoo Studio (Winner of the 2017 Northland Creative Industries award and 2019 More FM Customer choice Business Service award) where he now resides as a Full Time Creative/Artist and Business Owner.
Following in the footsteps of his father, Tawck established a passion for art well before he took his first footsteps. Those early teachings and a lifetime of creative competitiveness with his younger brother Haser, have manifested into global endeavours and successful creative careers for the both of them.
Tawck’s current works are a reflection of years of exploration and his desire to speak a visual language that represents his past, present and culture. The manifesto of what we see today is a juxtaposition that is reflected in a way of Tā moko (Māori designs), typographic script/lettering and realism.
“Being Māori and having an undeniable passion for graffiti and realism, it only made sense that I would gravitate towards the merging of all three styles - using Moko flows, realism and fragmental elements of graffiti”.
From his studio practice, tattooing and public murals, Tawck has created an organic abstract style that allows him to be versatile, but at the same time utilise elements that flow together harmoniously in a way that enables him to connect with the viewer.
“I want their eye to travel through the piece, so movement and flow is important. It’s like a photograph - creating focus points in a piece has always been my priority as it allows me to tell a story and make a connection with the viewer”.
The success in Tawck’s creative career is on the back of hard work, sacrifice and a small circle of creatives within his community. He gives credit to his father, Dave Bradley, younger brother Haser, the GBAK crew (international graffiti collective), his team at Memory Lane Tattoo Studio, as well as the extensive list of artists from the Moko and lettering community that have had an undeniable influence on the emergence and success of his style today.