Bronwynne Cornishoriginally studied to be an industrial designer but later discovered her true passion lay with earthenware and became an apprentice to leading New Zealand potter Helen Mason in 1968. She has since become one of New Zealand's best known ceramic artists. Highlights in her career include representing New Zealand at the Brisbane Triennial in 1996 and a solo show at the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki in 2002. This exhibition, entitled 'Allude', referenced Cornish's fascination with New Zealand expatriate painter Frances Hodgkins who, in turn, had been fascinated by ceramic art. She is an important figure in the recent history of New Zealand ceramics, in her role as both an artist and a teacher. Her approach towards her sculpture has seen her exhibit widely and earned her recognition and critical acclaim as a highly influential contributor to New Zealand ceramics and art-education.
Cornish's current series looks at the crossover between people and animals, placing those characteristics in fine balance and emphasising the 'wildness' that we have lost in our lives today. She notes, 'I make work that I hope will create a certain atmosphere, ring a long-lost bell, and help people create their own mythologies.'
Cornish's work can be found in major public and private collections in New Zealand and abroad including The Auckland War Memorial Museum, Auckland, The Dowse Art Museum, Wellington, The Collection of Foreign Affairs, Wellington, The Wallace Collection, Auckland, and the Kobayashi Collection, Tokyo.