Bronwynne Cornish is on of New Zealand’s best known makers of sculptural ceramics, with a career which spans some 45 years.
Since beginning to work with clay in 1968, she has developed a practice which is largely sculptural. Her central themes reflect a strong interest in place, ritual and mythology.
Cornish originally studied to be an industrial designer but later discovered her true passion lay with earthenware and became an apprentice to leading New Zealand potter Helen Mason in 1968.
Cornish is well-known for her installation work and other ‘multi-part’ pieces. She was New Zealand’s representative at the Brisbane Triennial in 1996 and had a solo show at the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki in 2002. This exhibition, entitled ‘Allude‘, referenced Cornish’s fascination with New Zealand expatriate painter Frances Hodgkins who, in turn, had been fascinated by ceramic art.
Cornish has also been the recipient of several awards, including a major prize at the Norsewear Art Award in 2004 for work she created in collaboration with her partner, painter Denys Watkins. Her approach towards her sculpture has seen her exhibit widely and earned her recognition and critical acclaim as a highly influential contributor to New Zealand ceramics and art-education.