In Facing the Mountain Simon Edwards challenges our emotions and conventional understandings of how we experience the landscape.
These alpine landscapes are both familiar and elusive. They are suffused with dim light which has a palpable presence. Painterly effects are intermingled – perspective alters and changes, with Edwards using glazes to retain translucence and clarity at the same time as they instil tone and atmosphere.
Edwards is playing with notions of the sublime and employing elements of modernist abstraction. He delivers these startling alpine landscapes, animated by the vaporous and ephemeral, so that they seem to simultaneously advance and retreat in space.
These are real places (as titles such as Eastern Edge and Castle Hill demonstrate). While they are paintings deeply informed by drawings undertaken in the field, they are, most especially, studio paintings where painterly effects and the essential qualities of the painted surface commune with the senses and the delineated landscape. Edwards uses suggestion and implication as actively as atmosphere, space and distance.
These are alpine landscapes more felt and perceived than actually seen. In Between Two Worlds dull air softly lights a watery path we travel to ‘face the mountain,’ apprehend and comprehend it.
In Precipice, Summit Apparition and Angle of Repose Edwards reveals and hides, allows and denies. Broken white lines, silhouetted outlines and shadows, cold volume and ‘pooling’ modulated tone activate the senses. We thus ‘feel’ our way in.