Saturday 5 July 2008

Memory of the Cairns Yacht Club

This painting was purchased by the Friends of Cairns Regional Gallery, for addition to the Gallery's collection.

Ron Edwards, "Memory of the Cairns Yacht Club" 2006. Acrylic on canvas.

Brian Robinson, Exhibitions Manager of the Cairns Regional Gallery says that Ron Edwards is a well-known Australian folklorist, artist and author.
Edwards was born in Victoria in 1930 and completed his training at the Swinburne College [now Swinburne University] Melbourne where he gained a diploma of art. He moved to tropical North Queensland in 1959 and opened an art gallery, exhibiting his own paintings until 1981 when he moved to Kuranda to live.

Over the years Edwards has been the recipient of numerous awards. The most recent being an Order of Australia medal OAM [1992], an Advanced Australia Award [1996] and a Honorary Doctorate from Swinburne University [2000]), for his achievements in folklore and publishing.
Edwards is a prolific artist, his paintings are represented in collections throughout USA, Britain, Japan, Sweden and Australia.

The painting, Memory of the Cairns Yacht Club highlights the ongoing demise of the local historical clubhouse by the Cairns Port Authority [formerly the Cairns Harbour Board], which dates back to 1920.
The Cairns Yacht Club is highly significant to the people of Cairns, having been used as a popular dance hall and social centre for decades. The yacht club itself was used as both a headquarters for the sport of sailing and also as a recreation centre to raise revenue for numerous project and causes throughout the region.
The facility also staged ‘send-offs’ and ‘welcomes’ to servicemen and women in both World Wars and assisted with the defences of the port of Cairns during Word War II.
What is interesting to note about Memory of the Cairns Yacht Club [2006] is the manner and style in which the artist has painted the subject. Generally paintings by Edwards retain a contemporary impressionistic appearance – a hard-edge, bold-colour approach in which the viewer can immediately see the broad brush strokes that form the composition of the work.
This painting retains a more painterly, subdued and romantic atmosphere about it, similar to the works of Melbourne expressionist Ken Whisson.

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