Originally from country Victoria, Bronwen has called Eltham home for the past seven years. She loves the Eltham community, and enjoys going for bush walks in the suburbs leafy environment. Bronwen loves experimenting with colour, pattern and texture in her artwork, and while she enjoys painting on canvas, her current passion is working with concrete. Bronwen uses concrete to create unusual homewares that are decorative and also have a function. Bronwen's work transforms the ordinary to extraordinary, and shows that concrete can be beautiful.
How do you describe your creative practice?
My passion for concrete art involves spontaneity and a desire to create something original. I love the process of mixing and combining colours, I find it fascinating how they meld and organically create patterns when put together to, for example, form a vase. I also enjoy using a balloon to create my decorative orbs. I love how the concrete dries to form uneven edges. I never really know how they are going to turn out and that unpredictability is exciting!
How/when/why did you get into this area of work?
I began working with concrete about two years ago. It has taken a lot of time, patience and problem solving to understand the nature of concrete and get it working the way I want it to.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on a series of tall concrete vases, and adding 'pop bubbles' of colour to my black orbs. It's fun to not just create a functional, fun item, but make it slightly sculptural as well.
Do you have a studio or work space? What is it like?
I have a little shed out the back where I mix and create my concrete forms. Otherwise it is a matter of working in my rumpus room, where I often have to tidy my work away as others in my family also need to use the space. My dream is to have my own studio space one day... so no packing away is required!
What influences, inspires or energises your practice?
From a young age, I have always loved photography and enjoy taking shots of patterns (brickwork, bark, plants, fabrics, corrugated iron, old buildings, landscapes). I try and include some of these into my painted patterns. I’m also inspired by form and function which is where my love of making concrete forms comes into play. I love the colours of the Australian outback. My new series of concrete items represent this love. I’m inspired to show my daughters that you can be creative, and no matter what age you are you can try and change your life and start a little business. That demonstrates persistence and determination. My energy comes from where I live, the bush, native birds, the sunlight that dances upon the eucalyptus trees. The smell of damp earth, the myriad of weather conditions that play across my large windows.
What does a typical day involve for you?
I work as a substitute primary school teacher. So most weekdays are spent working and playing taxi driver to my gorgeous teenage daughters. My creative life occurs in brief snatches of time late at night, Saturday afternoons, and often for a few hours on a Sunday.
What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
To believe in your dreams and never give up even when you feel like a failure.
Do you have favourite author, book, artist or artwork?
My favourite books are by Colleen McCullough. I have read every book she has written. But I also love the book ‘Reach to the Sky’ by Paul Brickhill. For art I have always loved the dreamscapes of Salvador Dali, Tom Roberts Australian landscapes, and Rise Barton’s water colours.
Do you visit your local library? If yes, what do you love about libraries?
I love Eltham’s library. I love it’s form and function. I love the vibe and atmosphere and really enjoy relaxing in one of the airbags and enjoying the peace and tranquillity. I also use the computers.
Where can we see more of your work?
I have a couple of pieces at Montsalvat. I also go to St Andrews market when I can organise it.
You can also see more of Bronwen's artwork at: