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Sonya Edney

Artist 302

Sonya Edney


Sonya Edney (1974) is an Ingarrda-Wadjarri artist born in Carnarvon in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia. She is known for her paintings.

Sonya began her painting career at Burringurrah community, located between the towns of Meekatharra and Carnarvon.

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 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 was told.”

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.

Aspects of the Gascoyne country inform all elements of Sonya’s paintings. She captures the vast spinifex plains and parts of the Gascoyne River that flood, leaving behind winding waterways and clay pans.

This country extends out to Mt Augustus the massive rock monolith named Burringurrah in the local Wadjarri language.

Sonya also reflects on the power of the night skies over desert country. Her paintings of the Milky Way show the close affinity between the sky and the land, so that one sphere appears as a continuation of the other.

Sonya is recalling her experiences camping out under the stars when her nanna would tell all the children the stories of the stars at night.

One of the significant stories includes the Emu in the Sky, where the body of the emu is seen in the dark patches within the Milky Way.

Sonya Edney expresses her stories with her skilful use of colour, bringing energy and warmth to images of Country and the powerful elements of nature that rule that domain.

“It’s red sand and spinifex country and in springtime there’s 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

Sources Consulted


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