After many years as a mainstay amongst the teaching team at TBSSS, Bernice Lowe is now relocating to Canberra and relinquishing her role as a senior teacher at the school.
Tom Bass used to tell the story of how impressed he was with Bernice in her early days as his student when the school was in Broadway. Tom would advise Bernice on her life study piece and Bernice would listen carefully but make no immediate reply. Tom observed from this that she was reflecting deeply before replying and that his words were being internalised ‘like dropping a pebble into the water and then waiting for ripples to rise and form before responding’.
Bernice discovered Tom Bass and his ‘atelier’ sculpture school in Broadway in 1989. The meeting was a pivotal moment for Bernice, igniting in her a passion for sculpture.
In 1998, the school moved to Erskineville and Bernice continued to study under Tom. She understudied Tom in his teaching of the life class. Bernice began to teach the life study classes herself in 2005 and enjoyed Tom’s continued mentoring. As a senior teacher over the following years, Bernice developed a large and loyal following amongst the student body. She became a well-loved and long-standing teacher of the Thursday evening workshop class.
It even got to the point where it was not easy for new students to gain a vacant spot in the Thursday evening class. And, over the years, the students have themselves developed bonds with each other, celebrating with a regular term dinner (the wider student body included) and in very well-provisioned supper breaks during their evening class.
Bernice’s work has graced our studio at Erskineville over the years. Her work expresses a rhythm, gesture and dynamic which must hark back to her background in dance, yoga and tai chi. This experience and also her studies and practice in acupuncture, no doubt, also contribute to her fine appreciation of sculptural form.
In Bernice’s own words, she seeks to ‘bring aesthetics of beauty and harmony into the work …..…… to create sculpture that invites the eyes and the senses in from the mundane …..….. to stop, linger a while and to just enjoy………..’.
We thank Bernice for giving us the experience of beauty in her work and for being such a supportive and proficient member of the teaching team at TBSSS.
We wish her all the very best in her new environment and encourage her to keep in touch!