burton art gallery and museum
gallery highlights




Kingsley Road, Bideford, Devon EX39 2QQ

Telephone: 01237 471455
Email: info@theburton.org

Admission is Free
Open Daily 10am - 4pm
Sundays 11am - 4pm

Hilary Bravo

Hilary Bravo

‘Colour has its own iconology. It can stir deep perceptions or passionate desires; it brings elemental vision into perspective. Hilary Bravo’s work has a universal visual language; indeed her jewellery is worn and collected by people throughout the world.
It conjures a mood, whether by juxtaposing colours which dance with light and iridescence or with pattern broken into swirls, shafts and trails of jewel-like intensity or subdued with the dellcacy of faded frescos. She works by breaking down larger paintings and reassembling the fragments to make uniquely beautiful pieces, each with a character of its own ‘. Artists Review

Hilary takes notes, records sounds, takes photographs, sketches and paints, and explores the street and beach combs. The processes of fragmentation and integration have figured recently in her work, as does the beauty of the discarded object and the fleeting movement. Examples could be cracks in pavements, worn manhole covers, paint work, frescos or underwater photography.

She uses a variety of paint and mediums, such as acrylic paint, heavy body medium, and interference colours, water colour, gouache and gesso. She also uses gold and silver leaf and distressed metallic leaf and a final coat of resin in order to emphasise the qualities and texture of depth and to give a luminous quality as well as making the pieces entirely waterproof.

Papier mache is a very old and well tried and tested medium. It began in ancient China, came to Europe via Italy and then spread to South America and Russia. Great Britain helped to develop it to its heights in the 17 and 1800s from where it travelled to the U.S.A. It has been used to create not only jewellery and object d’art, but panels for paintings, architectural moulding, sedan chairs, into the construction of dividing partitions in railway carriages and ships. A complete village was made in England and shipped out to Australia. A ship was built in Ireland to be sailed upon a lake in the grounds of an eccentric aristocrats estate. In Norway a church was built and used for over 30 years and in Germany a watchmaker made a pocket watch for his masterpiece in Dresden in which all the parts were made from papier mache which is said to have kept perfect time.

Nowadays with modern fillers, binders, glues and resins we have the opportunity to extend its potential once again. Papier mache was overlooked with the invention of plastics but has not been entirely lost, indeed it is enjoying its renaissance as we become more aware of sustainable development, conservation and re-cycling.

lottery funded