Kathleen Bridle (1897-1989)

Hydrangeas (1936)

Oil on canvas

78cm x 78cm

Purchased with assistance from the Friends of Fermanagh County Museum. Copyright: Carole Durix Image Courtesy: Museum Services, Fermanagh & Omagh District Council. Kindly lent by Fermanagh County Museum.

Kathleen Bridle, affectionately known as ‘Pindi’, was born in Swalecliffe, Kent in 1897. At the age of 24 she relocated to her father’s native Ireland where she enrolled at the Metropolitan School of Art, Dublin. During her studies Bridle won two silver medals and the Taylor Art scholarship from the Royal Dublin Society. After some time at the Royal College of Art in London she moved to Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh where she remained as an art teacher for almost forty years. Amongst her pupils were the artists T.P. Flanagan and William Scott who, in 1973 presented their work alongside Bridle in an exhibition at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland entitled a ‘Teacher and Two Pupils’. William Scott was quoted as saying, ‘her teaching influences on me was profound…we learn, from her work, a new way of looking, the familiar is transformed, and she invites us to share a new vision.’

In addition to being an honorary academician of the Royal Ulster Academy, Bridle also exhibited in Dublin at the Royal Hibernian Academy, the Irish Exhibition of Living Art and the Oireachtas. Her work is held in the collections of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the Ulster Museum. While Bridle is primarily known as a watercolourist, this piece is an example of her use of oils and is reflective of her range as an artist.