Edward Bullmore lived and worked in London from 1960 until late 1969, during the heyday of British post-War exuberance. In the near decade he spent in London, he was an elected member of the London Group and was included in a variety of notable group exhibitions, including Painting Becomes Sculpture Becomes Painting at the Hayward Gallery in 1968. The title of this show reflects key developments in Bullmore’s practice, which had begun to explore the relationship between colour, space and form in works that stretched canvas around a variety of experimental, often curvaceous frames (which could arguably be considered a precursor to Judy Millar’s recent explorations). His works from this time blur the distinction between inside and outside, back and front and are variously suggestive of body parts, both male and female, sometimes at the same time.
Bullmore returned to New Zealand to become an art teacher in Rotorua, never again reaching the career heights of his London phase. Local curated exhibitions of his work have generally emphasised his range of media and subjects, so his most innovative work – particularly the Astroforms and perhaps also another, related group, titled Icons – have rarely been shown in isolation. These drawings clearly show plans for the construction of new works, showing the deliberate fusion of body parts, the joyous colour, and the relentlessly innovative forms characteristic of his strongest work.