Audrey Garwood 1927 - 2004
A graduate of the Ontario College of Art, with postgraduate studies both in Amsterdam and Paris, she began early to develop her distinctive style ... and produced major works for more than fifty years.
Anchoring all Garwood works was a mighty presence: like an X-ray, she saw beneath the landscapes she painted right into the primeval forces that created them, using that insight to create complex, crystalline, intricately-worked surfaces of colour and light.
She probed the depths of her subjects for meaning, always in search of new ways to express them. A series of paintings resulting from a trip to Labrador showed, not a grim, foreboding landscape, but brightly coloured little habitations dancing across the cliffs. The human spirit thumbing its nose at Nature.
In her paintings, everything came alive. Houses danced; seas chewed at their shores; clouds clawed their way across the sky.
A member and exhibitor with the Ontario Society of Artists, Royal Canadian Academy and Womens Caucus of the Arts, Garwood had ten one-woman shows.
Awards and honors: the Sterling Trust Award for Canadian painters; the Canadian Society of Printmakers Print Award; the San Francisco Art Festivals Purchase award. She was the youngest person (and first woman) to win the prized Forester Award (Ontario Society of Artists, 1956).
Where to place Garwood in the stream of Canadian art? One might say that she stands beside the Group of Seven in her intuitive understanding of the grand architecture that is the Canadian landscape. And yet, as a member of the following generation, she added a more modern sensibility, an analytic understanding of the structures she painted.
Information courtesy of the artist's daughter, Evan Hosie.