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Artist Profile – Edwina Bridgeman

Artist Profile – Edwina Bridgeman
Each month we’ll be shining the spotlight on an artist that we are currently working with. This month, we’ve the pleasure to introduce artist Edwina Bridgeman.  
Hello Edwina – tell us a bit about yourself (and your artistic medium)
For the past 20 years I have been making work for exhibition both nationally and internationally. My work is playful, I use everyday materials to create scenes and whole environments. The work is accessible although there is always room for the audience to interpret the spaces for themselves.
At the heart of the work is a sense of optimism, my use of colour and materials reflect this.
I work widely in the community. My sense of playfulness and accessibility extends to the work that I make with all ages from babies through to Elders living with dementia. I run projects with an open agenda following the interests of the participants in a welcoming, non-judgemental way. I see my own work as a reflection of my work with various groups and settings. My visual arts practice and work as artist / facilitator /set designer are entwined, each celebrating the other.
What project/s are you currently working on with Creativity Works?
I am working with a group of young women in Radstock on our project ‘The Palace of Wonder.’ We meet weekly and explore our ideas through different materials. ‘Palace’ is an opportunity for the young people to come along and express themselves in ways not always available, beyond the confines of the curriculum and schools expectations. We have discovered the power of playing and of having no specific outcome. It is a fantastic group full of energy and enthusiasm. I am also working with mothers in Keynsham on My Time, My Space. Slightly less anarchic than Palace, it has the same principal at its core, to provide a safe non-judgemental space to explore ideas. 
Who inspires you? (and why)

I feel lucky that I work with inspiring people on a daily basis. Ultimately, I am inspired by the Elders that I work with for their wisdom and ability to keep life in perspective and for laughing!!

What book or exhibition has inspired you recently?

Hannah Ryggen Woven Histories at Modern Art Oxford. I found this to be an intensely moving exhibition. Ryggens beautiful tapestries encapsulate her passionate belief in equality.

What’s been your biggest professional, personal or creative achievement to date?
Professionally I am proud of my work Journey suspended in the atrium at the RUH and also my ongoing work with the egg theatre and travelling light for Snow Mouse.
Personally, moving to beautiful Shoscombe in 2010.
What are your creative aspirations? (with or without Creativity Works)?
I am excited about the work we are developing as Leverhulme Scholars for the eggs Incubator. Together with Lou Betts and Polly Tisdall we are creating a new early years offer Curious Things  and Curious Tales. It falls into a unique space between theatre and visual art and I hope will be a World class, thoughtful, playful and inspiring opportunity for under 5’s.
What advice would you give an emerging socially engaged artist?

I would say have 100% commitment to your work, have 100% belief in the transforming power of creativity and have 100% belief in the people with whom you are working alongside. Overall work hard and be kind.

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