Simon Edwards’ significant new body of work, while still an examination of the Canterbury landscape, has changed focus. Edwards applies his language of a built environment to the urban streets and artificial lights of the city. He presents notions of movement and journey, the night-time scenes creating a charged atmosphere; cars implied by ribbons of light reflect in wet asphalt.
“This series is an exploration into the visual qualities of the city at night. The natural light of previous work has been absorbed by darkness and replaced by artificial light. The transient and ephemeral are continued themes central to the exhibition. The work eludes to photography’s use of time exposure and more importantly its ability to freeze a moment in time. However in contrast to the cameras mechanical eye, the constructed image allows for the intervention of experience and memory.” (1)
Edwards’ previous works of a farmed landscape have much in common with the new paintings. Edwards depiction of the urban environ retains his continual concern for chiaroscuro and the dramatic tension between sky and land. As with prior works, despite the absence of people, their presence is implicit. His series of cityscapes are painted and drawn from a high viewpoint, looking down on city street scenes to produce a sense of inclusiveness.
1. Artist statement, 2004.