Australian Women's Register

An initiative of The National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) in conjunction with The University of Melbourne

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Standley-Woodroffe, Bronwen (1949 - )

Born
1949
Cleve, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia
Occupation
Artist and Gallery Owner
Website
http://www.horizongalleries.com.au/gallery/album19

Summary

Bronwen Standley-Woodroffe is an artist and co-owner of the Horizon Gallery at Silverton and Broken Hill, New South Wales.

Details

Bronwen Standley-Woodroffe was born into a farming family and raised at Cleve and Keith in South Australia. Aged 16 she left school and worked at the Cleve hospital before moving to Adelaide, where she married. With two young children, she began three years of study, starting at at the O'Halloran Hill Technical College and finishing at the Stanley Street School of Art, learning drawing and design, print-making, photography, painting and fabric printing.

Separated from her husband, Bronwen travelled north with her children and worked in fruit-picking at Young before going on to Alice Springs and Darwin, Clare, and finally Silverton, New South Wales. By Easter 1984, living out of her caravan, she had rented a block of land near the creek at Silverton and established an organic garden. In time she was able to buy a house and was joined by both of her children. The town was at that time home to several young families, and community events included gymkhanas and race days. The children travelled to school at Broken Hill.

Bronwen became involved in community activity and lobbied against proposals by the Western Lands Commission to resume crown land around Silverton. A committed environmentalist, she stirred controversy by opposing the agistment of large numbers of cattle on the drought-affected 12,000-acre Silverton Common. She established a Landcare group at Silverton in the 1990s, and helped to plant a self-sustaining decorative native garden in the Common.

Always an artist, Bronwen began painting in earnest in the 1980s. Her depictions of local flora adorned bookmarks sold by the RSPCA. Her intricately patterned and carved calabash gourds were sold through a gallery in South Australia. In the late 1980s, Bronwen met and married fellow artist Albert Woodroffe. Their business, the Horizon Gallery, was established in 1989 with outlets at Broken Hill and Silverton. Bronwen's partnership with Albert gave her the material and moral support necessary to devote herself to her art and she began painting landscapes - first with pastels, then acrylic paints. In the 1990s, the Woodroffes held three exhibitions at a corporate gallery space in Bourke Street, Melbourne and at Darling Park in Sydney, with the support of the Flying Doctors service. The Horizon Gallery enjoyed enormous success. As well as producing original paintings, Albert and Bronwen began making prints of their work to keep up with demand.

Today, Bronwen Standley-Woodroffe has two children and five grandchildren living in Broken Hill. A member of the Broken Hill Women Artists' Group, her work has been displayed at the Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery on several occasions, with a feature exhibition in September 2008. Bronwen was a finalist in the 2006 and 2008 Country Energy Art Prize for Landscape Painting, Countryscapes. In recent years her artistic direction has shifted to focus upon her personal development and spiritual life.

Sources used to compile this entry: Interview with Bronwen Standley-Woodroffe, 29 January 2009; Lemon, Barbara; Private Hands (contact Australian Women's Archive Project).

Archival resources

Private Hands (contact Australian Women's Archive Project)

  • Interview with Bronwen Standley-Woodroffe, 29 January 2009; Lemon, Barbara; Private Hands (contact Australian Women's Archive Project). Details

Barbara Lemon

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

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