Call it fate or just good luck, but when he was wandering through a local market, David Bromley stumbled upon an artist selling pottery — that, he thought was something he could do. “I decided the most important thing I could ever do was to be absolutely committed to making art every day. That would be the answer,” he said.
And that is exactly what he did. Bromley devoted the next few decades, and himself, to his craft: he left Noosa behind to work as a signwriter in Adelaide, eventually selling his own pottery and pursuing a deep-rooted passion by teaching himself to paint by browsing the racks at an art supply store. He emerged as an accomplished painter in the 1980s, earning recognition for his paintings of nude women and whimsical themes. Now, the multiple Archibald Prize finalist’s journey is coming full circle.
Bromley and his wife Yuge recently curated the exhibition as part of a 12-month artist-in-residence project with West Village. The collaboration between artist and developer is the result of a commitment made by West Village more than two years ago to bring art onto the site. An ideal opportunity: welding together art, development and the wider community is one of Bromley’s core tenets. “People should collaborate. They should bring together their different energies. You liaise with different environments and different people in different areas,” he said.
For an artist so respected throughout Australia, who has had his art exhibited on every continent aside from Antarctica, to choose to establish his creative space in West End is a tribute to Brisbane’s thriving artistic community. “It’s very well to have places strong in culture like Melbourne and Sydney, but Queensland has a fascination and interest and passion for it, which is so important in building a strong energy,” said Bromley. “I’m a believer that art should be everywhere, and in unexpected places. Hopefully then you won’t just bring art as exhibition, but you’ll start to build a cultural resonance. That’s the spirit West End already has.”