Artist Statement 2022

I am a Sydney based cross disciplinary artist trying to raise awareness of the pressing need to protect our natural habitat from the risks posed by climate crisis and extractivism. Blending fine art and documentary approaches my art practice encompasses photomedia, video, painting and installation. The subject matter includes endangered waterways, wetlands and coastal hinterlands of Greater Sydney and beyond. These areas are under threat from extractive industries such as sand mining and inappropriate development. Native trees of Australia often feature in my work either enmeshed as reflections in standing pools of water or standing tall like sentinels on the edge of swamps. To highlight the intrinsic qualities of nature my photomedia sometimes employs macro shots and less familiar views of marine and inland wetland habitats. Spurred on by my background in environmental activism I try to overcome society’s alienation from the natural world by establishing an emotional connection between viewers and the non-human world. As a response to climate change the artworks plead us to overcome an artificial divide separating city dwellers from the surrounding landscape that sustains communities.

Artist Biography 2022

Bernadette Smith has exhibited internationally with solo shows in Berlin, San Francisco and Singapore and has been a finalist in several major art prizes. Her art is included in collections in Germany, France, Britain, Singapore, Spain, Australia and the USA. She has a Master of Fine Arts from Sydney College of the Arts and in 2020 was selected for a Bundanon artist residency and featured in the 10th Canberra Festival of Art. Her art has been exhibited at Maitland Regional Art Gallery, Perth Centre for Photography, Mosman Art Gallery, Newcastle Art Gallery and the State Library of NSW. She is represented by Linton and Kay gallery in Perth, Manyung Gallery in Melbourne and Soho Galleries in Sydney.

Instagram: @bernadette_smith_artist