When observing Elynor Smithwick’s wondrous artwork, a strong sense of “place” is clearly established. Whether it’s a sprawling countryside landscape or the drawn curtains of a window, the prominence of setting is immediately present.
Elynor’s quiet, intimate oil paintings have a nostalgic quality about them – places that you might have been before, or scenes that feel close to home. In her own words, “Usually I find my inspiration in small things; looking out windows, going on walks, returning somewhere, closing my eyes.”
Browse Elynor Smithwick artwork at Otomys Contemporary
Elynor’s work centres around the transitory nature of existence. In her paintings, she reframes and rebirths perished realities to reveal contemplative narratives.
Inspired by the gentle quality of film stills, Elynor adopts particular techniques to control her oil paints. By layering translucent washed-out colours, her practice takes on a wistful sentiment.
Endeavouring to find movement and action within pre-existing, personal photographs, Elynor builds on their original content. As such, finality and transience exist within a single painting.
Elynor’s exhibition – I Haven’t Seen the Moon Tonight – was painted during a time of lockdown and social restriction. This period is both consciously and subconsciously reflected in the paintings. Through isolated figures positioned in outdoor landscapes and open windows, Elynor infers a sense of yearning and meditative contemplation.
The 12 paintings in the series are in communication with one another through subtle shifts in location; finding collective harmony through their solitary status.
Elynor Smithwick’s artistic background
Born in Albury NSW in 1991, Elynor Smithwick moved to Melbourne in 2014, where she began her studies in Visual Art. Elynor completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Honours (2019) and Bachelor of Fine Arts, Painting (2018), at the Victorian College of the Arts as well as Certificates III and IV in Visual Arts at CAE, Melbourne (2014-2015).
Elynor has been in various group exhibitions between 2016 and 2019, including (but not limited to) That Place, The Set, The Process of Making, Proud, and Jon Campbell Farewell. In 2016, she held a joint exhibition, A Room for Improvement at The Wetlands Studio, Brunswick, with artist and sister Sophia Smithwick.
In 2020, she was the recipient of The Macfarlane Fund Residency and in 2019 she received the Buller Arts Residency Award.