I met Arwynn Davey at the Riverdale Art Walk 2013 at Toronto’s Jimmie Simpson Park in the spring of this year; I was captivated by her work. Arwynn is a Canadian painter and graphic artist who currently resides in Toronto, Ontario. She grew up north of the city on just a couple acres of land with a rural route address. Without cable TV, she spent a great deal of time outdoors exploring and appreciating nature. Now living in the city, Arwynn misses the pure moments of living up north and through her art, tries to capture those moments in the city that might otherwise be missed; a lily in a garden, or a chickadee on an icy branch.
One of Arwynn’s favourite pieces is Lonely Tulip — this art piece was the result of her experience of the combative relationship between nature and the city. During her first autumn in Toronto, she planted approximately 300 tulip bulbs, this being her first time having a garden in the city. Arwynn didn’t realize the voracious appetite and complete disregard for boundaries that city squirrels have. She explains: “I would come home after work to my painstakingly planted garden to catch the fluffy rats digging around in the garden eating my bulbs. After one episode where I ran down the street wearing pajamas, chasing a squirrel with a bulb in its mouth, I conceded that nature had won the battle of the bulbs. The next spring, out of 300 bulbs there was one tulip. ONE.” To her chagrin she saw that the single remaining flower wasn’t even a colour she liked that much; she had visions of pastel pinks and purples crowding the yard. With appreciation for the one surviving tulip, she grabbed her camera and captured the lonely tulip (displayed above). When painting this piece, Arwynn describes that she “tried to show the tulips strength in surviving through the bold colours, but also the isolation against the dark background.”
Arwynn ’s interests extend beyond the arts. Other than (often futilely) trying to recreate nature at home through art, she is an enthusiastic athlete, participating in marathons and triathlons.
I’m looking forward to seeing more of Arwynn Davey’s true-to-life-nature work!