This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

Bridie Gillman · 'After'

Studio Visit

Brisbane-based artist Bridie Gillman is inspired by cross-cultural experiences – from a childhood growing up in Indonesia, to residencies abroad, and trips across Australia. Her bold, striking compositions convey moody landscapes, exploring both emotional and physical terrain.

We recently stopped by Bridie’s home studio to preview her exhibition, ‘After’,  which opens at new Brisbane venue Innerspace Contemporary Art today.

9th November, 2017

Artworks in progress by Bridie Gillman. Photo – Mindi Cooke for The Design Files.

The visual artist’s work is driven by the colour conjured from memories. Photo – Mindi Cooke for The Design Files.

‘It’s fun drawing with abandon and it’s a good tool for getting something down – it takes away the fear that often comes with a blank canvas,’ explains the artist. Photo – Mindi Cooke for The Design Files.

Bridie is exhibiting her latest body of work, ‘After‘ from today until November 9th at new Brisbane venue Innerspace Contemporary Art. Photo – Mindi Cooke for The Design Files.

The Brisbane-based artist works from her home studio in an old, character-filled Queenslander. Photo – Mindi Cooke for The Design Files.

Photo – Mindi Cooke for The Design Files.

‘For ‘After’ I have started each painting with 15 minutes of intuitive mark-making and drawing. Sometimes it’s mindless and sometimes I think of the experience and try to convey an element of it through my marks,’ explains Bridie. Photo – Mindi Cooke for The Design Files.

Bridie likes to work quite fast and for that energy to be visible in her art. Later though, she labours on a great deal of ‘figuring out’, ‘fixing’ and ‘finishing’. Photo – Mindi Cooke for The Design Files.

‘Painting has become a meditative act of recalling my experiences of a place through abstract response. Formless abstract shapes reflect the inconstancy of memory: an emotional reaction rather than a representation of place,’ says the artist. Photo – Mindi Cooke for The Design Files.

Jo Hoban
Thursday 9th November 2017

‘I think my role as an artist is to look closer, think broader, and feel deeper about things in the world around us.’ – Bridie Gillman.

‘I never set out to be an abstract painter,’ says Brisbane artist, Bridie Gillman. ‘I tried representational painting at University, but it didn’t go down so well!’ Following her Fine Art degree, Bridie travelled, returning for an Honours year that veered into sculpture, installation, and video. Then, after four years away from painting, she decided to explore it again. For the last two years, Bridie has focused on abstract painting and photography to express her diverse experiences of place.

The results are quietly disarming, and often culturally provocative. ‘Drawing from my time growing up in Indonesia, my work is an abstract response to negotiating cross-cultural experiences’ the artist explains. Recent residencies in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, and Penang, Malaysia, have been integral in developing her practice.

Bridie currently works from her home studio in an old, character-filled Queenslander, which she shares with her partner, two dogs and a spritely cockatiel. Here, it’s not unusual for large canvases to spill out of her studio into the living area. Bridie works predominantly with colour to translate her experiences: ‘I decide which place and memory I want to draw from, then I think about these in relation to colour. I choose the palette I’ll use to convey that memory, and from there it’s very intuitive’ she explains. After time spent in Asia, Bridie produced a series of vibrant works, while her latest paintings consider subject-matter closer to home, exploring darker, more fundamental territory.

‘With my ‘After’ paintings I began looking to the Australian landscape, and attempting to navigate my uneasy relationship with it, as a non-Indigenous Australian. Some compositions are based on memories of travelling through rural Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, and my experiences of night-time or dusk – the unknown that comes with darkness. In contrast, other compositions reflect an immediate response to my studio surroundings in urban Brisbane.’ Bridie completed these works during the months following her Uncle’s death. ‘I see the series as a dark contemplation on the Australian landscape during my period of grief,’ she explains.

Bridie also recently launched a new artist-run exhibition space called STABLE underneath her house. ‘I’m hoping STABLE will be a positive contribution to the community that has given me so much.’

‘After’ by Bridie Gillman
November 9th to 30th
Opening night Thursday 9th November, 6-9pm
Innerspace Contemporary Art
116 Brookes Street, Fortitude Valley

View Comments

Similar Stories

Studio Visit

Sam Cranstoun

Brisbane artist Sam Cranston draws on a huge archive of collected photographs and images for his latest solo show, 'Power Structures', at So...
Jo Hoban

Studio Visit

Andrea Shaw

Introducing Andrea Shaw's first collection of paintings from her 'Doorways' exhibition, currently at Boom Gallery.
Lisa Marie Corso

Art

Holly Greenwood

A grounded young artist presents a new exhibition, fuelled by an epic roadtrip around Australia.
Elle Murrell

This Week

Architecture

A Stunning Coastal Home, Created From A Revolutionary Building Material

This house by FMD Architects is built using CLT (cross laminated timber) – a revolutionary, sustainable building material.

Art

The Artist Painting Her Way Through Lockdown

Regional NSW-based landscape artist Edwina Edwards retreats into nature for a new exhibition, ‘Bush Solace’.
Sasha Gattermayr

Studio Visit

Artist Callum Preston Joins Forces With MONOPOLY and Movember, To Raise $150,000 For Men's Health

The Australian street artist reimagines 'MR MONOPOLY' in a new light – and it's all for a great cause!
Lucy Feagins
  10 hours ago

Design Eye

Studio Martin on Refined Rattan

Emerging design duo Lauren and Amanda Martin share their advice on using rattan furniture in contemporary interiors, in partnership with DOM...

Architecture

A Generous, Light-Filled Addition To A Heritage Home

A restoration and renovation project in Kensington, NSW by Studio Prineas creates a harmonious dialogue between old and new.
Sasha Gattermayr

Architecture

A Mood-Enhancing Melbourne Home

Kennedy Nolan have knocked it out of the park again, transforming a Victorian house with a dated extension into a cohesive home, with uplift...

News

These Recycled Tote Bags Are The Real Deal!

The winner of 2019 TDF Design Awards Textile Design category, Georgina Whigham, debuts a new collection of zero waste denim bags with local
Sasha Aarons

Homes

A Pint-Sized Coastal Home That Does More With Less!

Harriet Birrell aka Natural Harry, and building designer Fraser West, turned an exisiting structure into a dreamy 40 square metre home on Vi...

News

Space Furniture Is Having An EPIC End Of Year Sale Right Now!

Enjoy savings of up to 50% off (!!) furniture, lighting, and accessories from some of our favourite local and international designers, both
Sponsored

On The Market

A Landmark Inner-City Sustainable Home In Melbourne Is On The Market!

This architect-designed, three-bedroom Brunswick home is part of the impressive Davison Collaborative project, and boasts some serious susta...
Sally Tabart
  2 hours ago

TDF Design Awards

You’re Invited To The Design Files + Laminex Design Awards 2020!

Join us on November 5th at 7pm for our online ceremony as we celebrate the finalists and reveal all the winners – and WIN a bespoke sculpt...

On The Market

The Colourful Beach House Of Kip&Co’s Co-Founder Is For Sale!

The renovated 1970s beach house in Sorrento, Victoria, of Kip&Co's Kate Heppell has hit the market.

Furniture

A Lush New Line Of Contemporary Furniture From Jardan

The ‘Living Form’ collection reinterprets Jardan’s classic designs, with traditional Australian textures - and some brand new silhouet...
Sasha Gattermayr

Creative People

Australia's Original Instagram Secondhand Furniture Seller

We chat with OG Instagram seller Pip Newell of Curated Spaces, about how she grew her business out of her living room to a network of more t...

Homes

A Rustic, Inner-City Family Home Of 33 Years

Inside a Cornish/Spanish/Greek style home terrace renovation – in Port Melbourne!

Similar Stories

Studio Visit

Sam Cranstoun

Brisbane artist Sam Cranston draws on a huge archive of collected photographs for his latest solo show.
Jo Hoban

Studio Visit

Andrea Shaw

Introducing Andrea Shaw's first collection of paintings from her 'Doorways' exhibition, currently at Boom Gallery.
Lisa Marie Corso

Art

Holly Greenwood

A grounded young artist presents a new exhibition, fuelled by an epic roadtrip around Australia.
Elle Murrell

The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.