Ed Bechervaise, also known as Unwell Bunny, often begins his creative process with quick studies drawn from the vivid texture of lived experiences. These rough sketches are the guidelines for the natural shapes and loose forms that characterise his finished pieces. Inspired by the colourful world of possibilities that exist in both the real world and his subconscious, the Melbourne-based artist is eager to explore abstraction and imagination.
“I enjoy composition, the way colours fall into each other, and the way colour can create a feeling that isn’t formal,” he says. “Just by having certain colours sitting next to each other, it can create depth and understanding of greater spatial dynamics.”
With 17 years of experience as a practising artist, Ed has dedicated much of his career to investigating the powerful realms of memory and experience. After developing a love of art in childhood, his artistic pursuits began in the graffiti scene of the early 1990s in his hometown of Adelaide. His passion led him to study studio arts, communication design, and conceptual thinking at the University of South Australia and RMIT University. Following his history of letter and character-based aerosol street art, Ed uses a range of mediums in his urban contemporary practice, traversing between landscapes, still-life, figurative work, and portraiture.
“Some paintings have representation and others delve off into abstraction and sensation,” he says. “The latter is where I am currently taking the intention of my work.”
During COVID-19 social isolation restrictions, Ed has worked from his home studio on St Kilda Road, where he has begun a new mini-series of paintings. Here, he is surrounded by an art collection featuring his peers and contemporaries, as well as works of his own.
The surreal quality of his paintings reflects his state of mind, like framed windows into another universe. His works allow fragmented faces and sharp edges to exist peacefully beside spherical shapes. Lively colours complement these figures with a familiar sense of nostalgia, followed by the inevitable movement of life – a constant rhythm that he considers vital to his practice. “My work is a work in progress,” he says. “Owning a piece is simply owning a moment in time and evolution of my endeavour.”