Thalia and The Buskin – Evangelyn Edilson
Evangelyn Edilson explores tragedy and comedy alongside beauty and the grotesque to create this compelling body of work. Beautifully controlled lines, striking colours and the distinctive treatment of shading and light within these scenes are all features of Edilson’s painting practice. Through meticulous application of paint she builds a rich and tense world that commands attention.
Greek theatre and circus are referenced throughout the exhibition, used by Edilson as blown up reflections of her thematic concerns. Theatrical masks and imagery taken from these stage arts are used by Edilson as a commentary on how individuals present a façade of emotions to meet the pressures of society. The artist ingrains the works with hints about her own anxieties on the social performances of contemporary life, veiling them through her performers. In some of these figures Edilson manipulates and obscures human identity, removing facial features and markers of gender, distorting colours and juxtaposing characters against mannequins. The anonymous people she paints welcome the viewer to question their performances, relationships and what emotions lie beneath.
Evangelyn Edilson is an artist based in Ōtautahi Christchurch. Edilson graduated with an Honours in Fine Arts from the University of Canterbury Ilam School of Fine Arts in 2018 and is currently completing her Master of Fine Arts. In each of Edilson’s manipulated portraits she creates tension between meticulous details and grotesque forms, exploring issues of identity, performance and the human psyche.