John Edwards has been exhibiting since 1984. He has been shortlisted multiple times for the AGNSW´s Archibald Prize, the Sir John Sulman Prize, the S.H. Ervin Galleries, Salon de Refusés, the Kilgour Art prize, the Blake Prize, and the NSW Parliament Plein Air Art Prize, plus numerous Regional and State Gallery finalist exhibitions.
Edwards´ work has been described variously as brut abstract, yet retaining the honesty of naïve or outsider art, in 'wanting to express the inexpressible in a visual language.' His current work has matured into a more figurative and expressionist style characterised by expressive brush marks as he continues his obsession with the mythology of Captain Thunderbolt.
My current body of work, 'A Painted Journey', is increasingly 'secretive' - the hideout of Captain Thunderbolt is receding more and more into the landscape, a part of the mythology surrounding Thunderbolts exploits. Legend and fact entwine romanticising the nature of the man as bushranger and the image of Captain Thunderbolt as a champion of the poor, almost a Robin Hood figure, re-interprets some of his activities as he becomes known as "the Gentleman Bushranger".
Thunderbolts' hideouts are many across northern NSW, the most significant ones being identified around Split Rock (Thunderbolts Rock, Uralla), and are representative of the types of places, huts, caves and shelters, invisible in the thick brush, chosen to observe unseen the surrounding countryside.
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