Installation view of Heidi Yardley’s work on display as part of the <em>Melbourne Now</em> exhibition at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Melbourne from 24 March – 20 August 2023. Image: Sean Fennessy

Heidi Yardley

Heidi Yardley
(b. 1975, Melbourne. Lives and works in Melbourne)

Heidi Yardley works with found images to create scenes of mysterious temporality. Often painted in faded hues, her work holds nostalgic, elusive qualities that transcend time and place. Yardley is an avid collector of vintage books, catalogues and magazines from the 1970s, and her work is often influenced by the feminine aesthetics of the decade in which she was born.

Three large-scale oil paintings of Yardley’s feature in Melbourne Now: The Door, 2021; Psychique, 2021; and Femme en Fourrure, 2021. All three paintings feature female subjects with their faces obscured, at once familiar in aesthetic and strange in their ambiguous poses. On the surface these works evoke the glamour of old Hollywood or classic film noir, but on closer inspection – beneath the veneer of flowing hair – these uncanny, anonymous portraits hint at darker psychological narratives around feminine stereotypes of the era.

Yardley completed a Bachelor of Fine Art at Monash University (1995), Honours at RMIT University (1999), and is currently undertaking a PhD at Curtin University. She has been a finalist in significant Australian prizes including the Archibald Prize (2016, 2014, 2013), Wynne Prize (2016), Sulman Prize (2014), Doug Moran National Portrait Prize (2013, 2011, 2009), Hazelhurst Art on Paper Award (2019), National Works on Paper Prize, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery (2020), Paul Guest Prize, Bendigo Art Gallery (2020) and the Percival Portrait Painting Prize. In 2011, Australian Art Collector magazine named Yardley as one of Australia’s fifty most collectable artists. Her work is held in public collections including Artbank, Gippsland Art Gallery, Ballarat Art Gallery and the University of Queensland Art Museum.