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Bridget Bidwill + Bronwynne Cornish

Ex Animo

“Over the past year, we have all had time to think, reflect and work out our priorities. Both Bronwynne and I coincidently, have simultaneously referenced “time” in our works and more importantly, that we are running out of it to address the issue of Global Warming. Although this, and many other current issues concern me constantly, my paintings are more about feeling, rather than telling these stories directly – when words fail me, I paint.

There is no cohesive procedure to my way of painting –  I draw inspiration from ordinary things and nature. My works on paper are unplanned and I find their direction through the process of layering, covering, and constantly re-exposing. 

However, the series of large canvases in this exhibition, have more considered direction. A photo of an architectural detail of the Miro Foundation in Barcelona (taken by my husband’s niece, New York photographer, Emily Andrews) has been the inspiration behind my two paintings, ‘Codex’ and ‘Foundation’  – they both have the large, dominant and simple arc shape.

The following is a quote from an exhibition I saw recently by German artist, Iris Eichenberg:   Only I can see what happens, only I can decide to stop or proceed. There is no efficiency or economic logic to my process, on the contrary, the only aim is to fathom out the everything from this nothingness and the process is often everything.

Her words resonated with me and have helped me understand my own way of making Art.”

– Bridget Bidwill 2021

Bronwynne 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.”

Cornish’s work can be found in major public and private collections in New Zealand and abroad including The Auckland War Memorial Museum, Auckland, The Dowse Art Museum, Wellington, The Collection of Foreign Affairs, Wellington, The Wallace Collection, Auckland, and the Kobayashi Collection, Tokyo. 

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