Meet Elynor Smithwick

Born in Albury NSW, Elynor Smithwick is an Australian painter living and working in Melbourne VIC. Elynor completed her Undergraduate and Honours Degree in Fine Arts at Victorian College of the Arts from 2016 – 2019. Elynor received The Buller Arts Residency Award in 2019 and The Macfarlane Fund Residency Award in 2020.


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 an 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 twelve paintings in the series are in communication with one another through subtle shifts in location; finding collective harmony through their solitary status.


Ahead of the online exhibition opening, Elynor invites us into her world..


My strengths..

I’d say two strengths of mine are my curiosity and my open mind. Weaknesses include oversleeping!


I paint because..

It’s a way to mark certain times in my life, to try to understand my state of mind. Painting creates a kind of metaphysical trail; the more I paint, the more my life makes sense to me. The solitary nature of painting allows me to feel closer to my late father who was an artist. These nostalgic moments ground me and inform my practice.


Places I go..

At the moment Melbourne is in Stage Four Lockdown – so the only physical places I can visit are my home, local parks, the grocery store and the bakery where I work. When I’m at home painting, my mind drifts and with this my sense of space and place naturally expands, which is nice, particularly when I’m painting an outdoor landscape.

I like to think about wide open spaces where the natural land outweighs man made structures. A favourite place, which I often refer to in my art practice, is a farm in NSW where my father grew up and where I had the privilege of spending time through my childhood. The simplicity and ease of life on the farm are deeply embedded in my thinking.. So much so that I even dream about the place!


Sounds I love.. 

Lately I find Mary Lattimore and Grouper to be very relaxing. 

There is just something about the sounds of birds, rain, walking on a dirt track, dinner party chatter and randomly.. shuffling through paper!


I hope.. 

The Victorian borders will reopen soon so I can see my mother and sister again!

A vaccine is discovered soon.

2020 gets us to where we are meant to be.

August 24, 2020