September 27, 2022
Artist Katharine Edwards
Born from her deep emotional response to the varying landscapes of her life, classically trained Katharine Edwards takes a bird’s eye view of the world, soaring above the petty squabbles on earth.
As far back as her memory takes her, Katharine Edwards remembers covering every surface available to her – including the family place mats – with paint and drawings. Her parents never minded, actively encouraging this innate passion, and feeding her early inspiration in the form of childhood holidays spent exploring the Black Mountains in Wales.
Moving into cityscapes, Edwards spent her artistic education at St Martin’s School of Art London and Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. She escaped back to her parents in Herefordshire with a desire to paint landscapes – the rich red soil, falling in love with colour and the tension between wilderness and cultivation.
Edwards had a series of significant artistic influences in her life; her grandfather, Ralph Edwards, who was the Keeper of Woodwork at the V&A (1937-1954), her father Tim Edwards who became the President of the National Museum in Wales, and most notably their great family friend Kyffin Williams RA.
Edwards often stayed with Kyffin in Anglesey, walking and talking for hours, and she credits him with helping her entirely immerse herself in landscapes. Writing letters to each other till he died, the pair discussed exhibitions they’d enjoyed and what they were currently working on. Kyffin commissioned Edwards to do a series of drawings of the Gower Peninsula, ultimately buying two of her drawings for the collection at the National Museum of Wales.
Traveling to India – and experiencing a visual and sensory overload – Edwards married Frank and together they lived in the Yorkshire dales, then onto Fife before moving to London. It was a further move to a remote corner of Northumberland, surrounded by silent forest, with wood burning stoves and gas wall lamps, which fired Edwards and became central to her drawings.
Children arrived, the family grew up and looking for a change, they found a house surrounded by a patchwork of olive trees and mountains near the Subetica National Park, Spain. Edwards enthuses; “I’m intoxicated by the colours, the smells, the light… such a fresh, exotic, beautiful and intriguing aesthetic vocabulary.”
The raw and dramatic scenery, with constantly changing light and quick moving shadows, can be seen in Edwards recent Andalusian paintings. The heat, the calmness, the wilderness, all seen from the eagle’s view, blissfully unconcerned with the noise from earth below.
The changing landscapes of Edwards life inspire every canvas and are an antidote to the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The peace that Kyffin Williams showed her in Wales, is combined with the heat and colour in Spain, which we all crave.