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Angela Edwards is a contemporary artist and her works point to the way in which digital photographs, through iPhones, computers, and other devices, permeate our day-to-day lives. Digital images can be so transitory but placed on the canvas we are given the time to consider them; the time that the digitalisation of the image (in video terms) denies us.
The blurring of the forms expresses the quick pace at which we view digital images. With signifiers of setting and context removed, her work is less focused on the specificity of who is being featured and more to do with the feeling that arises from surfing the web.
Starting with a dark ground symbolising the blank digital screen, Edwards then enables the paint to create a highlighted tonal image which slowly comes into focus. This adds the weight and historical context canvas and oil paint bring with them.
Images, accessed by digital means, transport the artist to places they will never experience in the flesh. The artist is then charged with the task of trying to convey this bizarre digital time warp that we find ourselves in. The digital era has meant that we experience many things, including conflict in war-torn countries, directly and by the transient nature of the news and its 24-hour availability, we become de-sensitised and removed from this as if it is some kind of virtual reality.
“We live in a world where there is more and more information, and less and less meaning.”
― Jean Baudrillard, Simulacra and Simulation
Angela’s central thesis is connected to a notion of ‘home’, a theme explored from many different perspectives and one she continually returns to. In this new body of work, she glimpses into the past by digital means to see a facsimile of the place in the 1940’s that her mother called home. Helping her to create a pastiche of that time.
“Having visited an area of London and videoed images I wanted to see what the same area looked like when my mother was born there in the 1940s. Bermondsey in the east end of London was full of tenement buildings, housing large families in cramped conditions”.
Edwards new work is full of nostalgia for a bygone era and the work is set in the east end of London during the 1940s. She is fascinated by the idea of being given a virtual glimpse into a bygone era. From the dockworkers of which her grandfather was one, to the tenement buildings with washing strung between them and kids playing in the streets. We can experience the era by means of a kind of digital time travel transferred into paint and charcoal.
Edwards has over many years developed her practice in life and figure drawing and in 2014 gained a first-class honours Degree in Fine Art Painting.