In 1992 the University of Wales commissioned Povey to paint a 20 X 40 foot mural in a chamber concert hall. The mural took a year and contained seventy human figures struggling through seven stages of life, which he aptly titled the Hall of Illusion. As Povey’s sons entered Oxford and Cambridge Universities, he returned to his friends in Wales, setting up an extensive studio courtesy of the University of Wales, from which he would depart on bi-annual lecture tours of his collectors in the USA.
Thanks to the media, Edward Povey’s reputation now went before him. The president of the Welsh Royal Academy of Art personally invited him to join, he acquired collectors in twenty countries, his paintings hung in several museums, and he exhibited in reputable Galleries in New York, Brussels, London, Holland, Los Angeles, San Francisco and elsewhere. He was stimulated and productive in his work, and the obsessiveness that he had developed in his Caribbean studio – now resulted in each collection of his paintings containing its own unique intensity.
In 1993 his paintings were discovering important new territory employing distorted postures to express emotions; and in 1999 he began his friendship with the New Orleans art dealer Angela King.
By the time he met his current wife Tolar Schultz in 2003, he had already begun to change his art in search of a more personal relevance, as he had at the close of his Mural Period in 1981. In Schultz he had recognized a soul who shared his artistic and philosophical concerns unlike anyone whom he had hitherto met, and from that point began their irresistible connection to each other. They happily alternated between studios in Wales and Florida.
In 2006 Lady Anglesey, the former head of the BBC and the Chancellor of the school of the Art Institute of Chicago proposed to the British Government that Edward Povey be considered for a knighthood for his services to the world of art. The following year the Welsh government presented Povey in a publication alongside Catherine Zeta-Jones, Sir Tom Jones and Sir Anthony Hopkins as leaders of Welsh culture. Within another year the British Composer Jordan M. Leach had composed a seven part orchestral symphony dedicated to Povey and his Hall of Illusion mural.
In the years that followed Povey returned to his childhood for material with sufficient gravitas to carry the experimental dark and figurative paintings of 2008 to 2012. Throughout this time, he studied like never before, committed to carving his own route through the post-modern dilemmas of picture-making. He was joined in his inquiry by Schultz, with whom he gladly debated, writing voluminous manifestos, and in 2013 they embarked upon a combined artistic adventure. They worked side by side on the same paintings, passing from concept to concept until their paintings of 2016 arrived at a destination: a style of combined liminal human figures and pure abstract elements, creating a hitherto unseen genre.
Between 2016 and 2018 the Povey and Schultz duo had made two collections of paintings each year, but they were both simultaneously reawakening the evolution of their own individual art, which had been paused in 2012. Refreshed by his creative sojourn with Schultz and inspired by new research in the National Gallery of Art in London, Povey alighted upon the idea of combining Cubist mixed perspectives with Early Renaissance methods of painting flesh. This subject, employing Modernist strength and Raphael’s tenderness, could answer his long-sought wish of creating a better way of showing complicated and vulnerable emotions. The art dealer Angela King offered Povey and Schultz an artists’ residency at her river home in late 2018, and the peaceful isolation provided Povey with the perfect environment in which to shake the wrinkles out of his breakthrough.