Born in Sydney, Australian artist Joshua Yeldham is inspired by a deep spiritual affinity for the natural landscape and its myths. There is a strong duality at play in Yeldham’s work between direct observations – the artist physically immerses himself in his chosen natural scene – and between an imaginary expressive realm conjured by the artist. His artworks are therefore hybrid between the real and the make believe. The artist creates both abstract landscapes and figurative works and employs recurring symbolic motifs, fusing real topography with narrative and myth.
Yeldham’s canvasses are extraordinary tapestries, brimming with detail and imagination. The artist is obsessive in his attention to detail and has an unbridled creativity. His work is literally saturated with motifs, metaphors and exquisite details. For example he can map an entire landscape, capturing every tree and bird, and present the whole scene in the wing of an enormous owl. The owl is a recurring image in Yeldham’s work, so much so that it has come to almost act as a metaphor for the artist, or even perhaps the ghost that haunts him. Known in mythology for their wisdom and ability to be both virtuous and predatory, owls play a distinct and multifaceted role in Yeldham’s unique visual language.
Yeldham exhibits a great mastery over his medium and an unrelenting creative energy. The artist treats the creation of his paintings, sculptures and drawings in an expedition–like fashion. Not content to make site visits for inspiration, the artist will literally spend weeks camping in the bush or along the river, immersing himself in his subject so that he might understand the forces of nature, both beautiful and cruel.
Yeldham received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design in the United States. He has exhibited widely in Australia to great critical acclaim and been a finalist for the Wynne, Mosman and Sulman art prizes. Aside from international private collections, his work is held in several public and corporate collections including the Australian Stock Exchange and The University of Wollongong.