Phillip Edwards

Phillip Edwards is a Victorian artist who studied Fine arts painting (Oils) at the Victorian College of the Arts in the early 90’s. Over the past 6 years he has taken up watercolour, producing large scale majestic landscapes of Mt Buffalo and local scenes from the central highlands. He was the Winner of the Trustees watercolour prize at the 2018 Wynne prize at Art Gallery of NSW and has since been made a member of the AWI Australian Watercolour Institute. He has been a finalist in many Australian art prizes including The Calleen, Flow and the Lester portrait prize at the Gallery of WA. Exhibiting Mt Buffalo paintings ‘The mountains quiet heart’ was his first public institution show with Benella Art gallery in 2020. In 2021 he had his first Sydney solo show with Art Atrium.

Beautifully Broke 

9th June 2021 is a night that will be with me to the end of life.  The La Niña weather pattern had unfolded across Australia with devastating floods along the east coast, and on that night Victorian central highlands (Daylesford Trentham area), were battered by what could only be described as a natural disaster. Cyclonic winds snapped and pushed over millions of trees within the Wombat State Forest creating furrowed scars from the South East to North West. After 12 months the region is still in recovery.

I’m a Central highlands resident and artist and I’ve documented this destruction with a series of large scale watercolours titled Beautifully Broke. Perhaps an odd title for scenes that are in part reminiscent of the Western front of WW1, yet I had come to see this part of the world through the lens of spring’s wildflowers. The forests destruction became an opportunity for greater natural diversity, new growth and renewed hope.

For me Landscape painting as an art genre is more than just documentation of place. With the aid of the right materials and the use of an expressive painting style, atmospheric creation of scene and personal metaphor, I reflect on the everchanging human condition. The exhibition title is a reflection on my personal journey and process of growth…….I’m Beautifully Broke just like the forest.  I read the seasons, storms, new growth of spring as a fertile palace of personal learning when moving through the joys and challenges of life.

The 28 paintings on show for this exhibition use transforming morning mists (a metaphor for the mystical) to take the twisted remains of the bush to an ‘other worldly’ internal psychological space. Into this space local wildflowers express a sense of hope, ghostly feelings and things emerging.  This hope for the recovering forest that I feel also speaks to the sullen days we may experience.  During my time in the forest, even on the darkest of days, I just fell in love with the native Blue Corn flowers, Nodding Greenhoods and the stunning rare flower Anglesword. These works carry a very personal story and yet at their most basic they communicate beauty. Please enjoy the Beautifully Broke series however that may be.

Phillip Edwards

Art Atrium Exhibition Opening – Phillip Edwards

Art Atrium Artists Exhibition – Jacqueline Balassa, Kate Briscoe, Sophie Dunlop, Phillip Edwards and David Middlebrook

Art Atrium Exhibition Opening – Andrew Tomkins and Phillip Edwards

Art Atrium Artist Workshop – Phillip Edwards – Watercolour