Artist + Designer
Born in Tenterfield, northern New South Wales, Bronwyn Bancroft is a descendant of the Djanbun clan of the Bundjalung nation.
Utilising many mediums, Bronwyn’s artistic practice extends from public artworks to children’s book illustrations. She is represented in many collections both in Australia and overseas, including: the National Gallery of Australia, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of Western Australian, Australian Museum, Artbank, Newark Museum, The Kelton Foundation, Westpac USA, and the Volkerkunde Museum. Her work is also held in the private collections of the Prime Minister of Turkey, and the Governor of Tokyo. Bronwyn has exhibited extensively around the world.
Bronwyn’s passion for art began as a young child and her love of creating has remained with her throughout her life.
Graduating from the Canberra School of Art with a Diploma of Visual Communications in 1980, Bronwyn embarked on her career as a visual artist. In 1985 Designer Aboriginals was born. It showcased original and limited edition garments and jewellery, and provided training in fabric and jewellery design and small business management for Aboriginal women.
Two years later Bronwyn’s textile design Campfire Calling was selected for “Australian Fashion” at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. It was at this time that she became involved in the Aboriginal Medical Service fashion parades, culminating in “Australia Down Under” at Au Printemps Department Store in Paris in 1987.
This same year Bronwyn participated in her first group exhibition and followed with an exhibition in 1989 with Sally Morgan. Since then Bronwyn has participated in more than 200 solo and group shows.
Throughout her career Bronwyn has received many commissions. She has illustrated over 20 children’s books, including the works of Aboriginal authors: Sally Morgan, Oodgeroo Nunukul and Annaleise Porter. In 1994 Bronwyn was an Australian candidate for the UNICEPT Ezsa Keats Award for excellence in book illustrations.
Other commissions include: public artworks such as Gift Given Tempe Reserve, Robyn Webster Complex, and IBM America Olympic Art; and posters for AIDS and Human Rights.
As a founding member of Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative, over the past twenty years Bronwyn has served as its Chair, Director and Treasurer. At the same time she has been heavily involved in the protection of artist rights, representing artists on the Viscopy Board and as Chair and Board member for the National Indigenous Arts Advocacy Association (NIAAA 1993-1998), Chair of the Visual Arts Committee, NSW Ministry of the Arts (1996), and Council Member of the National Gallery of Australia (1992-1997). Bronwyn currently holds Board positions with Tranby Aboriginal College, Visual Arts Copyright Collection Agency (Viscopy) and Copyright Agency Limited (CAL), and the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME).
Bronwyn has a Master of Studio Practice and a Master of Visual Arts from the University of Sydney, and is currently a Doctoral candidate at the University of Western Sydney.
Bronwyn has three children: Jack, Ella and Rubyrose.