Mudlark: Ceramics by Bronwynne Cornish

8 November – 13 December 2014

Bronwynne Cornish’s distinctive figurative works carry a strong sense of both their material and maker, pushing boundaries and perceptions of both contemporary craft and sculpture. When her large scale installations first appeared in the 1980s, they were considered a radical departure from the accepted traditions of pottery-making in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

Early on her work was accepted as ceramic sculpture, being included in the exhibition Five x Five at Denis Cohn Gallery, with the ambitious scale of the installation Home is where the heart is creating a sensation at the Dowse Art Museum in 1982 and then entering its collection.

The following year Dedicated to the Kindness of Mothers was created as an installation at the Auckland Art Gallery, and a photograph of it made the cover of Art New Zealand 30 due to its spectacular cracked face, dramatic red lighting and the basalt composition of the body of the prone mother.

This important exhibition, originally curated by Lucy Hammonds for MTG Hawke’s Bay, brings together four major series – Temples, Seated Figures, Baa Birds and Standing Figures. These motifs form the cornerstone of Cornish’s practice over the past twenty years, constantly recurring as her practice has evolved.