Bridget Catchpole

Published: 15.05.2024


Bridget Catchpole is a multidisciplinary artist with a practice in contemporary jewellery and sculpture. She studied Fine Art (BFA 1998) at Concordia University, Montréal, Québec, Foundation Studies (1995) at Ontario College of Art and Design University, Toronto, Ontario, and Jewellery Art and Design (Dip 1993) at Vancouver Community College, Vancouver, British Columbia. Catchpole is a recipient of various Canada Council for the Arts grants to support her recent body of work, Stages of Healing (2021); a solo exhibition at Galerie Noel Guyomarc'h Montréal, Québec (2022); and an international artist residency in Athens, Greece (2023). In 2023, she received from BC Achievement Foundation an Applied Art + Design award.


My work is a material exploration of plastics' worth and waste, a reflection of anthropogenic climate change, and a representation of recovery and transformation. Since 2004, I have altered discarded plastics in my work to produce one-of-a-kind pieces and, more recently, to create sculptural "Wall Jewellery" forms. My studio is located on the K'omoks unceded traditional territory of Hornby Island, British Columbia.

Stages of Healing
Stages of Healing combines single use, found plastics and marine debris as material that parodies futuristic Anthropocene Era core samples. Sliced into discs of variable size, these artificial core samples define further meta-use in the creation of objects narrating a future of mass consumption and waste. I reveal a plastic's worth beyond its ubiquity to underscore a value system set in motion by imperialistic beliefs in resource extraction and the by-products generated from it, such as polymer plastics from its progenitor, fossil fuels. When slicing the core sample cylinders for Stages of Healing, the disc shapes often mimic geode-likeness and add an element of surprise when cut open. Moreover, the finishing steps are not unlike that of a lapidarist polishing a gem.
I could elucidate my work as "five and dime meets haute couture" — an ongoing challenge to transform the discarded in pursuit of a fine line where garish and alluring vacillate. By employing methods that embrace even the most degraded plastics, I honour the weakest among us and the fragility within us. The final outcome of the core sample discs lend themselves well to the appearance of clustered cellular forms, a reminder of our connection and dependency on the natural world — a fleeting and fragile existence compared to the geologic history of Earth.


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Exhibition  10 May 2024 - 02 Sep 2024  36 Brooches.
Harbourfront Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Curated by Melanie Egan, the Director of Harbourfront Centre’s Craft & Design Studio, this new jewellery exhibition features 36 hand-selected brooches designed by some of Canada’s most talented contemporary jewellers. The exhibition explores the story and symbolism behind one of jewellery’s most storied pieces and how brooches communicate messages of love, social critique, politics, status and wealth.
Exhibition  05 Dec 2023 - 05 Jan 2024  Civilization Rebooted. Jewelry, Photography and Video.
Exhibition  28 Jan 2023 - 25 Feb 2023  Animal, Vegetable, Mineral.
Exhibition  21 Sep 2022 - 20 Nov 2022  Animal, Vegetable, Mineral.
Exhibition  26 Mar 2022 - 22 Apr 2022  Still the Ocean Sounds the Same by Bridget Catchpole.
Exhibition  03 Dec 2020 - 28 Jan 2021  25th Annual Exhibition of the Gallery's Artists.
Exhibition  06 Nov 2020 - 28 Nov 2020  Paysage de L'intime.
Exhibition  19 Aug 2017 - 29 Oct 2017  Can Craft? Craft Can! Canadian Craft Biennial 2017.
Exhibition  25 Nov 2016 - 25 Feb 2017  20/20/20.
Exhibition  03 Dec 2015 - 31 Jan 2016  Contemporary Canadian Jewellery: the 28th annual Exhibition.
Exhibition  24 Jan 2015 - 14 Jun 2015  Lasting Effect.
Exhibition  24 May 2007 - 17 Jun 2007  Bridget Catchpole new jewellery.
Exhibition  26 Nov 2006 - 26 Dec 2006  Dix ans! Ten years!.