Born in Wellington in 1945, Bronwynne Cornish has become one of New Zealand’s best known makers of sculptural ceramics throughout a career spanning over forty years. 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’s approach towards her sculpture has earned her recognition and critical acclaim as a highly influential contributor to New Zealand ceramics and art education. Her work has been exhibited throughout the country, where she has had major shows in all New Zealand’s significant museums and galleries.
Cornish’s work looks at the crossover between animals and people – placing those characteristics in fine balance and emphasising the “wildness” that we have lost in our lives today. She notes “I make work that I hope will create a certain atmosphere, ring a long-lost bell, and help people create their own mythologies.”
Highlights in her career include a solo show at the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki in 2002. This exhibition, titled Allude, referenced Cornish’s fascination with New Zealand expatriate painter Frances Hodgkins, who in turn, had been fascinated by ceramic art. Cornish also represented New Zealand at the Brisbane Triennial in 1996.
Cornish’s ceramics are in major public collections throughout New Zealand and overseas – including The Auckland War Memorial Museum, the Dowse Art Museum Wellington, The New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs Wellington, The Wallace Collection Auckland and the Kobayashi Collection in Tokyo.
Bronwynne Cornish joined ARTIS Gallery in 2017. She had a joint exhibition with Bridget Bidwill and JS Parker in September 2017 and her work was exhibited with ARTIS at the Auckland Art Fair in May 2018.