Robert Bridgewater’s carved and incised wooden sculptures can be monumental, or delicate in scale; requiring from the artist brute force and strength, but also patience and care. Whether timber, or bronze, the surfaces of Bridgewater’s sculptures proudly display the methodical marks of the artist’s hand, retaining their link to the labour of production and more broadly to historical traditions of object making. He transforms patterns from a wide range of cultural sources into repeated motifs, affording his work an archetypal quality, one that is immediately engaging.
Born in country Victoria in 1971, Robert Bridgewater completed a Bachelor of Fine Art at Monash University, Melbourne in 1992 and a Graduate Diploma of Fine Art at the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne in 1995. He has been the recipient of a number of awards including the National Gallery of Victoria Trustees Award (1992); a Post Graduate Encouragement Award (1994) and the Kangaroo Sculpture Award (1995). He has been a finalist in the Deakin University Contemporary Small Sculpture Award (2011); the McClelland Sculpture Survey and Awards (2010); and the Helen Lempriere National Sculpture Award (2005, 2003 & 2000). He has completed residencies in London, through the Australia Council; and France, through the Ernst Mach Foundation.
Robert Bridgewater has completed a series of commissions, including works for The Westin, Perth (2018); Banksia Apartments, New Quay (2018); Park Hyatt, Sydney (2014); Point Leo Sculpture Park, Merricks (2011); RMIT University, Melbourne (2010); RACV, Melbourne (2010); Grand Hyatt, Melbourne (2008); Burswood Casino, Perth (2006); and Edgewater Estate, Melbourne (2002). His work is held in a number of public and private collections including Monash University Art Collection, Melbourne; Artbank, Sydney; and Victoria University, Melbourne. Robert Bridgewater currently lives and works in Melbourne.