Edwina Leapman was born in 1934 in Hampshire, England and studied at the Slade School and Central School of Arts in London. She was drawn to abstract painting in the late 1950s, but her interest in abstraction was informed by painting from New York of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. Though interested in Minimalism and Abstract Expressionism, she developed her own style and process of working.
“What interested me in particular in my early paintings of the 60s was to paint in a way that was on the edge of perception. The colour was less particularised in hue and more monochromatic. In the intervening years I gradually moved away from these ideas and began to use colour in a more active way. One of the reasons for this change is to be in darkness as well as light; I choose ways of working that are simple and allow the interplay of formal and contingent elements. The paintings show the process of working - the movement of the brush, the density of paint - and are built up line by line, the apparently random accents gradually coming together to form rhythms that create the particular mood of the painting. There are some contradictory things I try to do within the work: consciously to allow the unconscious, a containment which is open, and a stillness that reaches outward. The colour sensations are used to move the surface of the ground spatially, and this causes perceptual shifts by the colour, making an equal tonality. I feel now that my work is more and more returning to the emotional feel and the limpidity of colour that informed the experiences of my early childhood. These have been with me since the beginning, learning to paint was almost an interruption of being. It has been necessary to forget and discard layers of knowledge, education, and sophistication. For me art is the process of coming back to oneself. To the place one started. To catch the experience in retrospect.” ( Edwina Leapman 2013)
Leapman’s paintings have been widely exhibited in the UK and worldwide. Her works are held in major international public collections and museums including the British Museum, Tate Gallery and Arts Council, UK; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia; Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel.