Bronwyn Joy Oliver was an Australian sculptor whose work primarily consisted of metalwork. She trained at Sydney’s Alexander Mackie College of Advanced Education and London’s Chelsea School of Art. Her major works include Vine, a 16. 5-metre-high sculpture in the Sydney Hilton, Magnolia and Palm, in Sydney Botanical Gardens, and Big Feathers in Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall.
About Bronwyn Oliver in brief
Bronwyn Joy Oliver was an Australian sculptor whose work primarily consisted of metalwork. She trained at Sydney’s Alexander Mackie College of Advanced Education and London’s Chelsea School of Art. Oliver’s sculptures are admired for their tactile nature, aesthetics, and technical skills demonstrated in their production. Her major works include Vine, a 16. 5-metre-high sculpture in the Sydney Hilton, Magnolia and Palm, in Sydney Botanical Gardens, and Big Feathers in Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall. Her works are held in major Australian collections, including the National Gallery of Australia and the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Biographer Hannah Fink estimated that Oliver produced 290 works over a career of 22 years. For 19 years up until her death, she taught art to primary school-age children at Sydney’s Cranbrook School in Bellevue Hill. Her long-term de facto partner was wine writer Huon Hooke. In her early twenties, Bronwyn Gooda married Leslie Oliver, taking his surname and later retaining it despite a distressing divorce. The artist lived in the inner-western Sydney suburb of Haberfield, where she also had her studio. In August 2002 she was one of five shortlisted by the Australian Government for a project to produce a public artwork celebrating the centenary of women’s suffrage. By the time she died in 2006, Oliver’s output constituted most of the most commissioned pieces of public art in Australia. She was a friend of Roslyn Oxley, at whose eponymous gallery Oliver exhibited her works.
She had no contact with her family for 25 years after a rift developed between her and her family. She is survived by her husband Leslie Oliver and her two children, who live in Sydney and Melbourne. She also has a son, a grandson, and a step-daughter, who lives in Sydney. She died in Sydney in 2006 and was buried in a private ceremony at the University of NSW in Waverly, NSW. Her work was influenced by Richard Deacon, Antony Gormley and Martin Puryear under whom she studied while in England. In 1988 she was granted a period as artist-in-residence in the city of Brest on the coast of Brittany where she studied Celtic metalworking techniques. In 2000 Oliver’s piece Entwine was a finalist in the inaugural Helen Lempriere National Sculpture Award, while in the following year, she won the University Of South Wales inaugural sculpture competition, with her three-metres-high Globe. Oliver was also shortlisted for the 2006 Clemenger Contemporary Art Award, and was a shortlisted finalist for the 2002 National Sc sculpture Prize exhibition, and in the 2006 National Sc sculptures exhibition, as well as the 2006 Helen Lem prizewinnership exhibition. She won a Moet & Chandon Australian Art Fellowship in 1984 and was awarded a New South South Wales Travelling Art Scholarship in 1981 and the Moet and Chandon Artist of the Year award in 1984.