Bronwen Bradshaw is an artist who works in print (mainly etching), video, ceramics and artists’ books. Her etchings appear abstract in nature: they can start life as random rhythmical gestures which are then developed into more complex images often involving the use of several plates to provide colour. The inspiration for the work sometimes only becomes apparent to the artist after completion. They can be influenced by the wide, flat landscape that surrounds her studio at Dove Studios in Butleigh, by Venice, where she is a frequent visitor, or by dreams and ponderings.
Bronwen makes artists’ books as another way to present her work: this can have a filmic effect, and echoes her work in video, which in turn is often about journeys and stories. And as a book artist she always keeps a handmade book on the go as a documenting tool, whether it is for a new glaze for ceramics, the cabin she built on the meadow, or the step in stone project and thoughts and ideas it engenders.
For the step in stone work she is experimenting with making rubbings from deeply etched plates. Aerial maps of the quarries, really the only way to appreciate the size and shape of them, have inspired her to make a large aluminium etched map in 10 sections of Westdown quarry, which will be installed horizontally on the ground so that people will be able to make rubbings of it, as with a brass rubbing. The plates will not subsequently be printed onto paper as this would reverse the image (useless as a map), so for the Black Swan exhibition she will make a graphite rubbing of this map and also one of a smaller, copper plate map to be installed in the Fairy Cave quarry.
This approach invites the public to interact with the work, which as an artist who has worked on several drawing projects involving the public, is familiar territory for Bronwen: the metal maps are also intended to help visitors to the quarries orientate themselves.