Bridget Bidwill was born in the Wairarapa, New Zealand, in 1956. She studied at the Ilam School of Arts at Canterbury University, completing her Diploma of Fine Arts in Painting in 1977.
To take the simplest elements with a minimal palette and create a series of paintings is a task that has occupied Bidwill throughout her career. She uses her personal alphabet of shapes, merged with hints of reality (vessels, leaves and bottles) to create works of pictorial eloquence. Their reference to ‘still-life’ is evident, even in the most abstract of her paintings.
Bidwill’s sublime use of colour was initially influenced by her years spent in the Renaissance cities of Europe. Subtle tonalities evoke atmosphere and space, enhanced by the depths of the pastel, or the transparency of oil stick.
Bidwill’s recent work is richer in colour, with an increasing use of texture either through painting onto layered or collaged canvas, or onto textured wood panels. The vessels and forms float within the space, but sometimes reveal the layers of work which lay beneath.
‘One of my primary aims is to use the medium of painting to evoke feeling and thought. Just as instrumental and classical music needs no lyrics to create its atmosphere and meaning, an abstract painting does not need to copy reality to prove its intellectual and aesthetic work‘. – Bridget Bidwill