Emmy Bridgwater, Biographical Information

1906 Born in Birmingham, England, the youngest of three daughters. Father is a solicitor (not a well respected profession at the time).

c.1922 Studies at Birmingham Art School, England under Fleetwood Walker.

c.1926-7 Studies art at a small local college in Oxford. Works as a secretary to pay for her studies.

1936 Visits London and sees the International Surrealism Exhibition at the Burlington Galleries. By her description, the exhibition had a fully transforming effect on her work. She begins to directly pursue more surrealistic forms of expression.

1936-7 Attends the Grosvenor School of Modern Art in London, England. She returns to London regularly to see her family, and continues to support her artistic talents by working as a secretary.

Late 1930's Joins the Birmingham Group of Artists whose membership includes other surrealists (Conroy Maddox, John and Robert Melville). She is included in exhibitions at the London Galleries (a venue supporting Surrealism). Lives in Stratford Upon Avon (Shakespeare country!)

1940 Joins the London Surrealist group, has become close friends with Surrealist Edith Rimmington.

c.1942 Has a brief affair with Toni del Renzio, one of the leading British Surrealists.

1942 Contributes poems to Arson edited by del Renzio. Two paintings 'Remote Cause of Infinite Strife' and 'Moontide' are reproduced in the book.
Has a one woman show at Jack Bilbo's gallery, London.

1944 Contributes to Fulcrum, another Surrealist journal.

1946 Contributes to Free Union Libres, edited by S.W. Taylor. Also contributes to Savoir Vivre in Brussels.

1947 She signs the Declaration of the English Group of Surrealists.
Through contact with E.L.T. Mesens (Surrealist patron and activator in Europe and B ritain), Bridgwater is invited by André Breton to send works to the International Surrealist Exhibition at the Galarie Meaght, Paris, France .
Bridgwater becomes committed to caring for her elderly mother, and Emmy's disabled sister.

1949-51 Takes part in exhibitions across Britain.

c.1950 Virtually gives up her career to care for her family.

1970 Begin's to work in collage.

1982 Included in the Galerie 1900-2000 exhibition in Paris entitled 'Peinture Surréaliste en Angleterre 1930-1960.'

1985-6 Included in many exhibitions across Britain commemorating the 1936 show.

1987 Included in the Retretti exhibition in Finland Surréalisme.

1989 Included in I Surrealisti held at Palazzo Royale, Milan Italy and later in Frankfurt, Germany.

1990 One woman show at Blond Fine Art, England (Jonathan Blond is her dealer).

1991 Included in an exhibition of the Birmingham Surrealist Group at John Bonham/Murray Feely Gallery, London.

Bridwater is still alive and lives in a nursing home. She is in reasonable health but has not been able to draw or paint since c.1986. She has produced a small body of exquisite work. For those interested two works are illustrated in Whitney Chadwick's book Women Artists and the Surrealist Movement (published Thames and Hudson 1988 (?)).

Lisa Rull L.Rull@wlv.ac.uk

din de siècle

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