Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney paints the Gascoyne region of WA, her art shows the riverbed country, spinifex and wildflowers with vast night skies

 

Cattle Pool by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Cattle Pool

Jap 021785  |  acrylic on canvas  |  164 x 106 cm

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Gascoyne Wildflowers by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Gascoyne Wildflowers

Jap 022059  |  acrylic on canvas  |  168 x 107 cm

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Seven Sisters by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Seven Sisters

Jap 021878  |  acrylic on canvas  |  198 x 117 cm

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Freshwater Creek by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Freshwater Creek

Jap 021136  |  acrylic on canvas  |  130 x 96 cm

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Waterhole by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Waterhole

Jap 022058  |  acrylic on canvas  |  176 x 130 cm

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After the Bushfire – Wildflowers by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  After the Bushfire – Wildflowers

Jap 020184  |  acrylic on canvas  |  198 x 108 cm

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River Flow by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  River Flow

Jap 021933  |  acrylic on canvas  |  163 x 117 cm

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Seven Sisters by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Seven Sisters

Jap 021894  |  acrylic on canvas  |  151 x 133 cm

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Claypans by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Claypans

Jap 021389  |  acrylic on canvas  |  130 x 70 cm

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Freshwater Creek by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Freshwater Creek

Jap 020733  |  acrylic on canvas  |  138 x 130 cm

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Travelling Through Wildflowers by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Travelling Through Wildflowers

Jap 020116  |  acrylic on canvas  |  148 x 133 cm

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Yalibirri- Emu in the Sky by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Yalibirri- Emu in the Sky

Jap 021895  |  acrylic on canvas  |  162 x 112 cm

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Freshwater Creek and Wildflowers by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Freshwater Creek and Wildflowers

Jap 021488  |  acrylic on canvas  |  198 x 114 cm

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Big Rain by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Big Rain

Jap 022221  |  acrylic on canvas  |  182 x 132 cm

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Freshwater Spring by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Freshwater Spring

Jap 020641  |  acrylic on canvas  |  95 x 80 cm

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Little Creek by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Little Creek

Jap 022147  |  acrylic on canvas  |  92 x 69 cm

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Gascoyne Claypans by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Gascoyne Claypans

Jap 022116  |  acrylic on canvas  |  176 x 124 cm

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Seven Sisters by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Seven Sisters

Jap 021784  |  acrylic on canvas  |  194 x 105 cm

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Dry Waterhole by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Dry Waterhole

Jap 022121  |  acrylic on canvas  |  178 x 140 cm

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Night Sky and Wildflowers by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Night Sky and Wildflowers

Jap 022222  |  acrylic on canvas  |  172 x 110 cm

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Gascoyne Claypan by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Gascoyne Claypan

Jap 022017  |  acrylic on canvas  |  133 x 110 cm

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Gascoyne Wildflowers Blooming by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Gascoyne Wildflowers Blooming

Jap 021896  |  acrylic on canvas  |  196 x 124 cm

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Freshwater Spring by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Freshwater Spring

Jap 021879  |  acrylic on canvas  |  196 x 126 cm

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Seven Sisters by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Seven Sisters

Jap 020126  |  acrylic on canvas  |  112 x 94 cm

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Little Creek, Gascoyne by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Little Creek, Gascoyne

Jap 021881  |  acrylic on canvas  |  197 x 121 cm

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Seven Sisters by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Seven Sisters

Jap 020234  |  acrylic on canvas  |  131 x 131 cm

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Cattle Pool by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Cattle Pool

Jap 022060  |  acrylic on canvas  |  144 x 92 cm

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Seven Sisters by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Seven Sisters

Jap 022061  |  acrylic on canvas  |  146 x 90 cm

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Little Creek by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Little Creek

Jap 022114  |  acrylic on canvas  |  162 x 133 cm

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Seven Sisters by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Seven Sisters

Jap 020572  |  acrylic on canvas  |  170 x 105 cm

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Flood Plain – Gascoyne by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Flood Plain – Gascoyne

Jap 021974  |  acrylic on canvas  |  194 x 120 cm

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Artist Sonya Edney

Artist Sonya Edney

About Sonya Edney

Date of Birth

1974

Place of Birth

Carnavon

Region

Gascoyne, Western Australia

Language

Yingarrda, Wadjarri

Family

Sonya Edney is a largely self-taught Yingarrda (Ingarrda) artist born in 1974 in Carnarvon in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia. Sonya started painting at home at Burringurrah community, located between the towns of Carnarvon and Meekatharra, where she grew up and attended school of the air. Later she began a Visual Arts course at Carnarvon TAFE and was approached to teach her skills in the local schools for NAIDOC week. Sonya’s father, Ernest Edney (dec.), who was a dogger, was also a musician and Sonya, too, plays musical instruments. She attributes her artistic talents to her family.

Sonya says “Painting inspires me, when I think about home. When I travel and see different country and different scenery, that makes me think about my own country. It takes me back home to where all my inspiration first started out in the bush with my family. Living out in the bush was all about learning where you come from and the stories you were told.”

Sonya has worked in a wide range of mediums from drawing and painting to mosaics, mural painting, basket weaving and silkscreen printing, as well as being involved in the illustrations for Irra Wangga Language Programs. She has travelled widely in Western Australia and has worked at art centres in Geraldton, Carnarvon, and Port Hedland.

Her current interests are in painting the country of the upper Gascoyne and out towards Mt Augustus. “It’s red sand and spinifex country and in springtime there are everlastings and other wildflowers and the creeks are running. A lot of stories I’ve got in my head, so it’s good to paint one theme.”

Once I’ve got the colours organised in my mind, the rest just follows along. It takes a while to get all the background colours done and then it goes from there. I wait, maybe overnight, until the rest of the painting comes to me. Sometimes it is in a dream. Then I start with a colour, then I add some other tints to it to make it darker or lighter, to create movement and to tell the story.” Sonya adds, “The more I paint, the more stories come into my mind that I want to paint, stories from when I was growing up. One story brings back another. It’s an ongoing and compelling process.”

Sonya is currently living in Perth and paints at her home. Over the last five years she has had family and friends that have passed. She says: “Sometimes when I’m painting, with the grief I’ve had, the painting helps me get through it. I came to Perth in 2018 and approached Japingka Gallery with one painting. It opened a new doorway for me, and I have become wiser, and more creative throughout my journey.”

In early October 2020, Sonya went to the Pilbara and Upper Gascoyne for two weeks with a group led by Peter Salmon, who wanted to go back to his Warrinyangga country with his children and grandchildren. His main purpose was to re-enliven his ancestral language, as he is its last living speaker, and pass it down his family line in the hope of preserving it. The trip was reinvigorating for Sonya, too, and a re-connection to her country as they travelled through and stopped at a number of the places where she had lived with her family as a child. Since Sonya has been painting with Japingka, her iconic artworks have found a local, national and international audience, finding distant homes in the USA, Europe and Ireland. From 2020 Sonya has had two paintings in the inaugural exhibition at the new Western Australian Museum, Boola Bardip.

Solo Exhibitions

2019  My Journey through Ingarrda Country, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA

2021  Gascoyne Night Skies, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA

2022  Recent Paintings, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA

2023  Yingarrda Waterholes and Wildflowers, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA

Selected Group Exhibitions

1997  First Prize, Human Rights Day Art Competition, Gascoyne Arts Council WA

1997  Student Art Exhibition Carnarvon TAFE WA

2002  Derby Art Exhibition, Derby WA

2003  Second Prize, Kimberley Craft Show, Derby WA

2007  NAIDOC Art Exhibition, Exmouth WA

2007  Banggumayigu Walgajulgu, Geraldton Museum, Geraldton WA

2008  Cossack Art Exhibition, Roebourne WA

2008  Connect, QPT, Geraldton WA

2009  Ilgarijiri, GRAG, AIATSIS, Canberra, ACT

2009  Hedland Art Awards, Pt Hedland WA

2009  Ilgarijiri, Curtin University, Perth, WA
2009  Ilgarijiri, GUC, Geraldton WA
2009  NAIDOC, ACDC, Geraldton WA
2009  Ilgarijiri, GRAG, Geraldton WA
2009  OPR Good Art, QV1, Perth WA
2009  Harmony Week, QPT, Geraldton WA

2012  Oakajee Port and Rail: Good Heart Mid-West Aboriginal Art Exhibition, Perth WA

2015  We Call It Home, FORM, Perth WA

2017  The Gurawu Collection, Yamaji Artists, Mundaring Arts Centre, Mundaring WA

2017  Ngang Badimaya Wangga – Yarns with Gami Ollie George, Geraldton Regional Art Gallery,

Geraldton WA

2021 Origins, Boola Bardip – WA Museum, Perth WA

2023 First Lights, Nyinggulu – Fremantle Biennale, Exmouth, WA

Collections

Geraldton Regional Hospital

Telethon Kids Institute, Western Australia

RAC, Western Australia

Boola Bardip – Western Australian Museum, Perth WA

Commissions

Design of one of eleven of the Welcome Rest Stops Across the Pilbara

Residencies

2015 Screen and Lino Printing Residency, Edith Cowan University, Perth WA

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