Image: Luxury Fissure ’71, 2021 by Rhys Edwards. Oil on canvas.

During the Parisian Commune, Gustave Courbet led the Federation of Artists. They called for a Communal Luxury in art-making. But Courbet himself did not produce any images of the Commune. Herein lies the poetic fissure: the gulf between what it is possible to represent, and what it is not. Like the Commune, painting is an attempt to envision the impossible.


Rhys Edwards is an emerging artist, curator, and writer. He is Assistant Curator at Surrey Art Gallery, where he most recently curated the permanent collection exhibition, Where We Have Been. He has written for Canadian Art, The Capilano Review, C Magazine, and BC Studies.

As an artist, his works employ classical and academic methods in the pursuit of anti-representation. In 2019, he was accepted into the RBC Emerging Artists program, and was also nominated for the Salt Spring National Art Prize. He graduated with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of British Columbia in 2014, and he lives and works on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh Nations, Kwantlen, Katzie, and Semiahmoo nations.