Until her tragic and untimely death by suicide in 2006, Bronwyn Oliver was one of the most significant Australian sculptors of her generation even though she became increasingly withdrawn in the years immediately preceding her death both from society in general as well as from her own tight circle of friends. This reclusiveness reflected an intense dedication to her art. Her work was fragile and exquisite in sculpture as was its poignant references are metaphorical in character. The artist remarked of her work that it is about structure and order. It is a pursuit of a kind of logic: a formal, sculptural logic and poetic logic. It is a conceptual and physical process of building and taking away at the same time. I set out to strip the ideas and associations down to (physically and metaphorically) just the bones, exposing the life still held inside.
Oliver was raised in rural New South Wales. She trained at Sydney’s Alexander Mack College of Advanced Education and later at London’s Chelsea School of Art. She had early success, winning a New South Wales Travelling Art Scholarship in 1981 and the Moet & Chandon Australian Art Fellowship in 1984.