Blindfolded and Paradise Bound by Harry Edwards

Please join us for the last exhibition opening for the year at H&C!
5-7pm 3rd December with drinks from Scapegrace Gin and Fortune Favours. (Private opening so please send us a message or DM us on insta to go on the list!)
Blindfolded and Paradise Bound by Harry Edwards
Blindfolded and Paradise Bound

The works that make this show represent escapism. “Put a blindfold on me and take me to paradise, fuck just tell me I’m in paradise and I’ll believe you”. In conflicting and polarising times like these, lies a desire to linger in the things that bring you joy, be it small or great. Hiding from the madness and the chaos out there, pulling the metaphysical sheets over your head. The paintings were born from romantic idealism and a place of longing, to reject all else and live
alone or with another in the pure pure bliss of ignorance.

Though the work is what some would call abstract, it still exists in the realm of imagery. It’s informed by the natural and human world. They are in a way, bodily landscapes or imagined paradises. With these paintings I scaled down a lot from previous work, while instinctively I paint on larger canvases, coming from a place of physical and mental spontaneity. These ones were more considered, pensive and often not finished in one sitting, which for me is rare. I try to capture something, often quite fleeting, a snapshot of an image or idea, therefore returning to a piece after any length of time can mean that the initial energy or emotion has subsided. It’s a process that involves short bursts of activity, followed by a lot of just sitting and looking, working out what it’s all about, and what to do next.

Coming from a songwriting background, the titling process holds a high value within my practice. It’s a process I enjoy and I believe are informative to the pieces themselves. Sometimes the title comes before the work, sometimes they come from that same subconscious area of the brain as the paintings and other times they’re more literal or imagery related. In any case I try to make sure they give an idea as to where that image came from, or exists.

I left the London commuter belt town I’d spent majority of my childhood years in, after being born in the west country and living for a few years in an English, American, Canadian military community in The Netherlands (my accent was cooked), and moved to London to go to art
school to be a living cliche and, more importantly, meet other musicians and like minded people, (which I of course thought there were none of back home). A huge part of my University years were spent playing in bands, and a good few years after that’s pretty much all I focused on (aswell as other distractions).

After a epiphinal trip with my partner Abbey to her homeland New Zealand in 2019, I realised I wasn’t at all happy with where my life was headed back home, not really passionate about the music project I was fronting and not at all creatively satisfied. We extended our stay in NZ by three months, headed back to London to organise the big move to Berlin. Berlin gave me a lot of
headspace, the work life balance you can achieve there let me start painting again, more prolific than ever. I also started writing music for myself again and basically had a sort of self re-discovery period after losing who I was a bit.
We’ve been here in New Zealand this time since January, we managed to escape the chaos of Europe, peak pandemic, and made it back here before things got really tricky. This time round was also only supposed to be a three month visit, however for obvious reasons we decided it would be best to stay here and wait out the storm. It’s had its difficulties, leaving your life on hold is obviously a bit emotionally bizarre, but I guess that’s a sign of the times and the same for
everyone globally. Because of the pandemic and travel restrictions I haven’t seen my family now for over a year and with my Mother just finishing her chemo treatment, (though things are looking promising) at times it’s been tough. However through all this I still feel we made the right decision by staying, it’s been a productive time. I surf almost daily where we are living, which you can’t complain about, and things have gone pretty well over here for me art wise too.


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