She has been a finalist in significant prizes including The Archibald Prize, Wynne Prize, Sulman Prize and The Doug Moran National Portrait Prize. Yardley has held two artist residencies in New York, funded by the Ian Potter Cultural Trust and has been listed as one of Australia’s 50 most collectable artists (Australian Art Collector magazine, 2011). Yardley’s work is held in a number of public institutions including Artbank, Gippsland Art Gallery, and the University of Queensland Art Museum.
Heidi Yardley’s practice explores elusive worlds of displaced identity through representations of the female figure, often in surreal configurations. Yardley pairs her protagonists with ‘broken’ still lives (fragmented florals and displaced objects) through which the viewer can begin to decipher a language of fractured memory and unresolved relationships. She additionally explores the Australian landscape through her enigmatic and melancholy landscape paintings. Yardley’s process begins with collecting found imagery from twentieth century archives and reworking this source material on computer, often using collage techniques to reappropriate existing photographic images. The source material is then referenced to create detailed and labour-intensive paintings and drawings. Through this process Yardley aims to reconstruct her personal history as well as that of the collective unconscious, forging ambiguous narratives imbued with a dark psychoanalytic timbre. Yardley’s compelling and elegant compositions explore personal identity, psychology, ritual, desire and loss but also allow the viewer the space to draw their own conclusions.