Friends Are Showing: Susan Edwards MA FRSA at Hereford City Museum

Hereford artist Susan Edwards, a Friend of the RWA, curates Inspired by Local Heroes at Hereford City Museum in September 2021.

by Laurel Smart

Susan Edwards is an artist and a Friend of the RWA. She has recently received an award from the Elmley Foundation and is working in collaboration with the museum archivists to produce the exhibition Inspired by Local Heroes, which showcases her paintings alongside the work of Royal Academicians Dame Laura Knight, John Ward and David Cox Snr, all of whom lived and worked in Hereford. All three artists have been a personal inspiration to Sue, who said of the show:

Inspired by Local Heroes is a brilliant opportunity to demonstrate the importance of having learning resources like the National Collections available to inspire artists. It also gives me the chance to take everything I’ve known, understood and learned from traditional landscape painting, and repurpose it for the 21st century. I’ve not thrown the figurative baby out with the bath water, but I try to interpret rather than describe a landscape, to get the poetry rather than the prose of a view.”

“…I will insist on living dangerously by pushing colour saturation to almost dangerous levels to give heightened drama…”

Sue’s own paintings are about the thrill of colour and simultaneous contrasts, achieved through juxtaposing tertiary complementary colours rather than raw primaries. Her idiosyncratic colour palette is inherited from her parents who were both painters, and her work is becoming looser as it reaches its full maturity.

“I try to create a divisionism, observed and extrapolated directly from the motif and laid on using bold brush strokes of broken colour. Also, I will insist on living dangerously by pushing colour saturation to almost dangerous levels to give heightened drama. I aim to let the painting paint itself as much as possible, so the colours are allowed to suggest landscape forms but are not subject to them. I want colours to escape as much as possible from the obligation to describe, so that they have a chance to radiate the kind of joyous emotion that you feel when you’re actually in the landscape.”

Susan Edwards – The Urgency of Spring

Sue completed her MA Rebooting the Figurative in Rural Landscape Painting in 2016.  In an increasingly urban environment, Sue’s intention was to update the tradition of rural landscape and reinvent it in a contemporary context. And in 2017 she won an h.Art award for “Shared Ground”, a solo exhibition which showcased her recently completed Master’s Degree landscape paintings.

Sue is gaining wide recognition for the individuality of her work. She won a Commendation at The Bath Open, she has shown at The Royal Institute of Oil Painters, The New English Art Club at The Mall Galleries, London, and with the Friends of the RWA.

Susan Edwards – Pulteney Bridge


Find more information about Sue at

Inspired by Local Heroes is at Hereford City Museum – 1-29 September 2021


The Friends of the RWA is an independent charity that supports the Royal West of England Academy, Bristol’s first art gallery. 
For just £35 a year Friends can make unlimited visits to RWA exhibitions and enjoy a host of other benefits, as well as making an important contribution to the arts in Bristol and the South West. Find out more and join up here.

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