Current Exhibitions

Simon Edwards

Blood, Breath and Bone

11 May - 18 Jun 2019

Exhibition Works

Ancestral Falls
Ancestral Falls (2019)
Imperial Gem
Imperial Gem (2019)
Te Wai Pounamu - The Greenstone Waters
Te Wai Pounamu - The Greenstone Waters (2019)
Breath
Breath (2019)
Down River
Down River (2019)
Blood, Bone and Breath I
Blood, Bone and Breath I (2019)
Blood, Bone and Breath II
Blood, Bone and Breath II (2019)
Blood, Bone and Breath IV
Blood, Bone and Breath IV (2019)
Blood, Bone and Breath V
Blood, Bone and Breath V (2019)
Blood, Bone and Breath III
Blood, Bone and Breath III (2019)

Exhibition Text

Over the last few years, Simon Edwards has made his mark as a mature and confident artist of the New Zealand landscape. His images, both in their initial form as collage sketches and in their finished realisation as fine oil works on aluminium, display his skills as an artist. They also display his place in a lineage stretching back through early New Zealand landscapes of Van der Velden through the romantic art of Friedrich to Turner. Yet while this lineage is clear, Edwards also sees his art within a more modernist approach: “The work places itself somewhere between a modernistic reliance of the essential qualities (of the materials and the methods of painting) and an awareness of [landscape tradition]… the work becomes a result of what is happening on the surface at the time and building on chance effects that present themselves.” (1)

Edwards has recently returned from a research trip to China, and his study of scroll painting and traditional Shan-shui landscape is clearly reflected in his latest works. The vertiginous mountainscapes and rich use of chiaroscuro combine in landforms such as Ancestral Falls and Imperial Gem which are at once Arthur's Pass and Huangshan but yet neither.

It is, above all, Edwards' skill with his media that stands out in this collection. Through the use of multiple thin layers of paint, he has created the aerial perspective found in the mountains. Pale silhouetted crags stand out in a sea of mist to tower over deep mountain pools. In images like Te Wai Pounamu - The Greenstone Waters, the painted surfaces reflect the inner glow of the aluminium to become broad bands of pearlescence over opalescence, the vagueness of the land belied by the pinpoint depiction of waters tumbling from the rocks into the valleys below. We are left with images of meditation and majesty, the works drawing us in to explore the mythic terrain within and beyond.
 
1. Artist statement, https://thecentral.co.nz/artists/32-simon-edwards/overview/