The Artist Painting Her Way Through Lockdown

When the world went into lockdown, Edwina Edwards went into the bush.

The landscape painter took her practice back to her hometown of Albury just a few years ago, and has now emerged from this rollercoaster year with two things: a fresh perspective on the environment that has nurtured her painting style, and an entirely new series of rich, colourful works. We caught up with the artist ahead of her online exhibition – Bush Solace.

Sasha Gattermayr

Artist Edwina Edwards returned to her hometown of Albury a few years ago, citing the enviable tree change as critical to her landscape painting practice. Photo – Karen Webb.

The restorative, calming properties of the natural world is the theme of her new exhibition, Bush Solace, at Arts Space Wodonga. Photo – Karen Webb.

Evening Approaching. Photo – Karen Webb.

Left: Deep Into The Bush. Right: Edwina paints in-situ. Photo – Karen Webb.

Left: Beginning Of The Track. Right: Fading Light. Photo – Karen Webb.

Left: Across The Valley. Right: Lilac Blooms. Photo – Karen Webb.

Left: Ground Flora. Right: Bush Beginnings. Photo – Karen Webb.

Edwina at home in her studio. Photo – Karen Webb.

Sasha Gattermayr
27th of October 2020

Nature has been front and centre for Australia in 2020. We were overwhelmed by its devastating force during the bushfires at the beginning of the year, and then felt its sharp absence while confined to our homes during the pandemic. Albury-based artist Edwina Edwards has felt the seasonal shift more intensely than usual.

‘I am generally tuned into the landscape, however this period has made me hyperaware of the natural environment and what it gives us,’ she explains. Bolstered by the limitations of lockdown restrictions and a new perspective on the role of the natural world so present in her life in regional NSW, Edwina created a series of works titled Bush Solace, which will be exhibited online at Brunswick Street Gallery until November 9th.

‘Getting out into nature helped to ground me, and remind me that there is still beauty and wonder in the world during these unprecedented times,’ she recalls. ‘The light in autumn and winter is so calming and exquisite. The soft pink skies are a beautiful backdrop to the rich, deep hues of green hues and the blue hills in the distance.’

This rich palette dominates the painter’s compositions, which depict a calming, serene outlook of the Australian landscape in a cooler climate. Lucid, natural forms such as trees and hill crests blossom from clouds of vivid blue, while blush pink skies and pops of mossy green complete the swirling, dreamlike vistas.

Bush Solace is a series of vivid landscapes exploring both the sublime might and restorative serenity the natural world has embodied during this rollercoaster year. Though her surrounding environment has been a constant theme of Edwina’s painting practice over the last few years; right now, an added layer of intensity is found within her layered compositions.

‘It is the small things in nature, that moment in time that can still provide joy and settle our hearts,’ she explains. ‘I am grateful for the soothing qualities that the landscape provides.’

Bush Solace is available to view online now, until November 9th. Find out more about Edwina’s work here!

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