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Awarded for service to the Arts
Entered on roll: 2006
I study the human psyche in all its roles within the world environment but my work is purely visual and comes from my spiritual consciousness. It is intuitive and words prove meaningless. … My aim is to discover the unknown. (Marie Edwards, 1992)
Born in 1925 in Stanley, Tasmania, Marie Edwards was attracted to painting as a young girl. After raising a family and studying fashion drawing and design she enrolled at the Tasmanian School of Art and was awarded a certificate in Fine Art (Painting) followed by a Diploma in Fine Art in 1973.
A seven-day summer school with John Olsen, where she was introduced to concepts like ‘ taking the line for a walk’, and ‘looking at the landscape as if you were flying’, and an art study tour of Europe and America with Leon Paroissien and Bernice Murphy completed the picture. Marie found she had committed herself to painting in a modernistic international style, in many ways foreign to her environment, especially as a woman artist.
Marie was at the forefront of a new generation of forward looking women who put female art on the map in Tasmania when women artists were in short supply elsewhere in Australia. She was a pioneer in the field of contemporary abstract art and also women’s art.
Diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1981, Marie found herself no longer able to continue experimenting with new international large canvas techniques. Life became a constant challenge, but she never gave up, right to the end. She was actively involved in Parkinson’s groups and supported Parkinson’s research, even volunteering to take part in research studies in her last year.
In 2003 she donated her personal collection of paintings and drawings to the University of Tasmania Foundation to establish a perpetual scholarship, so other artists could live the dream of post graduate study in Europe.
During her lifetime her work was hung widely in solo and group exhibitions, including the Robin Hood 18 th International Art Competition and the Blake Religious Prize in 1979. Her works are held by the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, University of Tasmania Fine Arts Collection and a number of private collections throughout Australia and overseas.