Sonya Edney

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

 

Seven Sisters by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Seven Sisters

Jap 018620  |  acrylic on canvas  |  130 x 93 cm

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Gascoyne Wildflowers by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Gascoyne Wildflowers

Jap 019977  |  Sonya Edney  |  199 x 92 cm

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Goolingurru Springs by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Goolingurru Springs

Jap 019851  |  acrylic on canvas  |  130 x 93 cm

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Gascoyne River Wildflowers by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Gascoyne River Wildflowers

Jap 019365  |  acrylic on canvas  |  158 x 145 cm

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Seven Sisters and Waterhole by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Seven Sisters and Waterhole

Jap 019761  |  acrylic on canvas  |  200 x 136 cm

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Wildflowers – Gascoyne Country by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Wildflowers – Gascoyne Country

Jap 018512  |  acrylic on canvas  |  198 x 119 cm

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Gascoyne River by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Gascoyne River

Jap 019833  |  acrylic on canvas  |  200 x 100 cm

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Looking for Bush Tucker by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Looking for Bush Tucker

Jap 019990  |  acrylic on canvas  |  200 x 123 cm

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Seven Sisters by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Seven Sisters

Jap 019099  |  acrylic on canvas  |  109 x 93 cm

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Freshwater Springs – Wildflowers by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Freshwater Springs – Wildflowers

Jap 019675  |  acrylic on canvas  |  140 x 94 cm

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Gascoyne Wildflowers by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Gascoyne Wildflowers

Jap 019887  |  acrylic on canvas  |  130 x 94 cm

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Yalibirri – Emu in the Sky by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Yalibirri – Emu in the Sky

Jap 020115  |  acrylic on canvas  |  125 x 121 cm

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Waterhole with Bush Foods by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Waterhole with Bush Foods

Jap 019631  |  acrylic on canvas  |  158 x 145 cm

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Gascoyne River in Flood by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Gascoyne River in Flood

Jap 019517  |  acrylic on canvas  |  111 x 93 cm

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Edithanna Pool by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Edithanna Pool

Jap 019891  |  acrylic on canvas  |  200 x 124 cm

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Bushfire by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Bushfire

Jap 018833  |  acrylic on canvas  |  198 x 118 cm

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Yalibirri – Emu in the Sky by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Yalibirri – Emu in the Sky

Jap 019015  |  acrylic on canvas  |  200 x 105 cm

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Freshwater Wildflowers by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Freshwater Wildflowers

Jap 019885  |  acrylic on canvas  |  127 x 94 cm

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Goolingurru Springs by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Goolingurru Springs

Jap 019643  |  acrylic on canvas  |  200 x 122 cm

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Gascoyne Wildflowers Sunrise by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Gascoyne Wildflowers Sunrise

Jap 020136  |  acrylic on canvas  |  112 x 96 cm

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Wildflowers, Gascoyne River by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Wildflowers, Gascoyne River

Jap 019747  |  acrylic on canvas  |  140 x 92 cm

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Seven Sisters by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Seven Sisters

Jap 019449  |  acrylic on canvas  |  200 x 139 cm

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Yalibirri – Emu in the Sky by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Yalibirri – Emu in the Sky

Jap 019746  |  acrylic on canvas  |  120 x 92 cm

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Freshwater Springs – Sunlight by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Freshwater Springs – Sunlight

Jap 019674  |  acrylic on canvas  |  199 x 90 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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Claypans by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Claypans

Jap 019601  |  acrylic on canvas  |  200 x 81 cm

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Seven Sisters Waterhole by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Seven Sisters Waterhole

Jap 019834  |  acrylic on canvas  |  200 x 91 cm

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Waterholes and Gascoyne Wildflowers by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Waterholes and Gascoyne Wildflowers

Jap 019835  |  acrylic on canvas  |  165 x 152 cm

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Wildflower Country by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Wildflower Country

Jap 019883  |  acrylic on canvas  |  128 x 93 cm

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Sunset over Wildflowers by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Sunset over Wildflowers

Jap 020137  |  acrylic on canvas  |  130 x 94 cm

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Needle Hill by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Needle Hill

Jap 019078  |  acrylic on canvas  |  129 x 94 cm

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Wildflowers – Sunset by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Wildflowers – Sunset

Jap 018814  |  acrylic on canvas  |  131 x 93 cm

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Bushfire by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Bushfire

Jap 018561  |  acrylic on canvas  |  199 x 119 cm

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Gascoyne River Flood Plain by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Gascoyne River Flood Plain

Jap 019748  |  acrylic on canvas  |  200 x 76 cm

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Sunset, Gascoyne Country by Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  |  Sunset, Gascoyne Country

Jap 019034  |  Acrylic on canvas  |  200 x 101 cm

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Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney

Alec Coles WA Museum CEO with Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney with Alec Coles, CEO of WA Museum

Who is Sonya Edney?

Sonya Edney is an Yingarrda-Wadjarri artist born in Carnarvon in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia in 1974. Sonya started painting at Burringurrah community, located near Mt Augustus. Later her uncle, musician and painter Raymond Edney, introduced her to artists acrylic paints. Sonya then went on to do a Visual Arts course at TAFE and was approached to teach her skills in the local schools for NAIDOC week.

Sonya Edney on Inspiration

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 Edney Artistic Mediums

Sonya has worked in a wide range of mediums from drawing and painting to mosaics, mural painting 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.”

Sonya Edney at WA Museum Boola Bardip

In 2020 Western Australian Museum invited Sonya Edney to partner with them in a new, permanent exhibition. The Origins exhibition would be a collaboration with Edney’s art, working it into a cultural and scientific history of the universe. The multi-media presentation featuring Sonya’s painting Seven Sisters is one of the most popular exhibits in the museum.

Selected Group Exhibitions

1997 First Prize, Human Rights Day Art Competition, Gascoyne Arts Council WA
1997 Student Art Exhib, 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, Port 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
2019 Japingka Gallery, Perth WA
2021 Japingka Gallery, Perth WA
2022 Japingka Gallery, Perth WA

Interview with Sonya Edney

Sonya Edney  launched her first solo exhibition at Japingka Gallery. That exhibition was extremely popular with collectors from all over the world responding strongly to her fresh new style. The exhibition was sold out by opening night. Sonya talks here about her art and her life.

My Country

I was born in Carnarvon and grew up in the Gascoyne. I went out bush to Burringurrah community, I lived out there for most of my childhood. I grew up living out in the bush and swimming in the waterholes.

My Art

I’ve always made art. I was artistic and self-taught. I learnt how to paint and explored all sorts of mediums, watercolours, sketching, charcoal, everything and anything. My uncle, Raymond Edney, is an artist and he encouraged me.

My Stories

Some of the paintings tell sad stories about my life, about me travelling around and the places I’ve been. You get some sad times and good times. I’ve shown that through my paintings. Mostly I just paint about my own story rather than the Dreaming stories that belong to the people. I just get an idea in my head and then I paint it.

My Year

I only started painting the exhibition works in late 2018. So I think I’ve got about 30 works produced for my first exhibition over a six month period. I had so many losses in my family. I wasn’t sure if I was going to paint, but then I did it and it helped me through the grieving side of things. That’s why some of the paintings, the colours are very strong, because of the way I’m feeling.

It was really hard painting when I was grieving at the same time. I ended up just pushing through, now I’m having an exhibition so that’s really good. I would get halfway through some of these works and somebody else would pass away. It was so hard. I’d stop painting for three weeks and then I just get back into it, painting at home or in the gallery.

The Move To Perth

I live in Perth now. I’ve been here for a few years. It feels unreal having the exhibitions. I’ve been painting all my life, I’ve been in exhibitions with other artists, entered awards and everything. Then I had my first solo exhibition.

I was struggling and I didn’t know whether to do it or not, but I just kept thinking of my people, you know. My family and friends, they’ll be thinking, “you should keep doing, keep painting.” I’ve got some cousins that live in Perth. But I do miss home. I do go up there, but only for the sad times lately.

First Exhibition

I had my first solo exhibition at Japingka in 2019 and I’m excited, I’ve painted for years. I won an award in Geraldton, I won Artist of the Year for NAIDOC, that was in 2008. This is a very special time for me and I feel very proud of what I’ve been able to create.

How It Feels To Paint

Painting makes me feel good, it relaxes me. I think about a lot of stuff, the things that were on my mind and all things like that. Then after I’ve finished it’s a good feeling. I get a good feeling and that I did it. I go through the painting and I enjoy doing the dots. The paintings are about the lands and the sky. The main traditional story I paint is the Seven Sisters and the Emu in the Sky.

Growing Up In The Bush

I grew up out in the bush and you see a lot of stars, you look at the night sky and tell the stories and everything. So there’s a lot of stories I could paint, but then you’re not allowed to paint those stories. They were very sacred places and things and you get in trouble if you paint it.

My Painting Routine

I just paint at home. I have a small apartment and I use the lounge room for painting. If I’m working on a bigger canvas I’ll work on the floor or roll the canvas so I can work on one section. I listen to music while I work, I get bored if I don’t paint. Sometimes I just wake up and have this idea and I paint it straight onto the canvas.

The Exhibition

I’m feeling really good about the show. It’s a great feeling. It’s just spinning me out that I’m finally having  solo exhibitions. I’m so proud of that.

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