John Edwards
 
John Edwards | Artsite Galleries | Sydney | Australia
John Edwards | Artsite Galleries | Sydney | Australia
John Edwards | Artsite Galleries | Sydney | Australia

John Edwards has been exhibiting since 1984. He has been shortlisted three times for the AGNSW´s Archibald Prize, three times in the Sir John Sulman Prize, four times in the S.H. Ervin Galleries, Salon de refusés, twice in the Kilgour Art prize, three times in the Blake Prize, and most recently John was a finalist in the NSW Parliament Plein Air Art Prize, to name a few of his extended achievements.

My father met my mother when he was an Australian soldier based in Japan... in the early 1950s (and) then spent three years fighting with the Australian government to allow him to bring his Japanese bride to Australia. My mother never spoke fluent English. I always understood what she was saying though so, in a sense, communication often via the sensory and the unspoken word, probably had a huge impact on my wanting to express the inexpressible in a visual language.

Johns´ work has been described variously as informed by Art Brut yet retaining the honesty of naïve or outsider art, and his earlier paintings and works on paper were characterised by extravagant brush marks and an abstract style which has now matured into a more figurative and expressionist style.

One of the early Art Brut artists, Henry Dagar, was fascinating not least because he never exhibited a work in his living life. An incredible artist, he had a hoard of 17,000 drawings! I admired that, the quiet progress of saying something… There is an honesty in the work which I somehow connect with. These artists were creating art because they needed to. It is creative, sexual, political...

There was some amazing work in the ‘Musée de l´art brut’ dedicated to outsider art in Lausanne, Switzerland, notes Edwards. The serene, classical 18th century building houses the wildest array of works produced by self-taught artists. Many of these artists in this extraordinary collection, donated by Jean Dubuffet back in 1971, were not just outsiders or recluses but often very marginalised practitioners, such as prisoners and social deviants.
It was a terrific experience to be among this breadth of extraordinary styles from artists such as Alphonso Ossorio and Hans Krusi for example. It felt really cutting edge.

Edwards professes admiration for the work of Anselm Kiefer and Gerhard Richter (Maybe, like Richter, I’ll get to work in a tidy studio but I doubt it, it´s not who I am!) and more locally, Aida Tomescu, Ann Thomson and Wendy Sharpe, who he describes as hard workers, (who) stuck to their guns and pushed themselves...

My current body of work, Captain Thunderbolt and the travails of Australian bushrangers, evolved from looking at Sidney Nolan´s ‘Kelly’ paintings with their brilliant colour and modernist depiction of home-made armour hammered out of ploughs. Kelly´s masked dressing has something of the spirit and grit of an Australian ethos of ‘making do’.

Narratives surrounding convict and bushranger images are integral to our Australian psyche with figures such as Ned Kelly, Captain Thunderbolt and Jack Doolan thriving in the imagination. Bush ballads are penned and images painted about such figures famed for stealing, philandering, ‘mateyness’ and murder. Despite such waywardness, they attract enormous sympathy and public intrigue, in part because of skill and stealth in evading the law. Less is known about their feisty, gun-toting partners.
One such woman was the Indigenous Mary-Ann Bugg, also known as ‘Black Mary’. She was Thunderbolt´s, ‘the gentleman bushranger’ second wife.

In ‘Young Mary-Ann Bugg on the Run’, for instance, I wanted to capture something of the resilience of female bushrangers, imagining ways they might have endured or enjoyed bushranging and family life.
By transposing the visual narrative of Kelly to that of Mary-Ann Bugg I hoped to create a painting that recalibrated both the myth and the Nolan image in history´s documentation of place.

As such, ‘Young Mary-Ann Bugg on the Run’, is homage to all bushrangers, convicts and settlers that took pride in colluding, conspiring and working to survive.

John Edwards 2018



Public Collections:
 
Artbank, Australia
Australian Embassy, China
University of Wollongong, NSW
Sydney West International College, NSW
The Children´s Hospital, Westmead, NSW
University of Technology, Sydney
Symnans Saker Elliot and Hickman collection, New Zealand
University of Sydney, NSW.

Private Collections:
 
Australia, USA and Europe
 

Solo Exhibitions:

2018
On the Trail with Captain Thunderbolt and Mary Ann Bugg, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Sutherland Shire Arts Centre, NSW.
2016
Colonial and On The Run, King Street Gallery on William, Sydney, NSW.
2011
Edited Letters from the new Frontier, King Street Gallery on William, Sydney, NSW.
2008
Pictographs and letters from the New World, King Street Gallery on William, Sydney, NSW.
2007
New Works, King Street Gallery on William, Sydney, NSW.
2006
new world, King Street Gallery on Burton, Sydney, NSW.
2004
Water Worshiper Series, King Street Gallery on Burton, Sydney, NSW.
2003
Ten Year Survey Exhibition, Sir Herman Black Gallery, University of Sydney, NSW.
2002
New works, King Street Gallery on Burton, Sydney, NSW.
2000
New work, King Street Gallery on Burton, Sydney, NSW.
1998
New work, King Street Gallery, Sydney, NSW.
1997
Bring Me the Messenger, The Beatty Gallery, Sydney, NSW.
1996
Spellbound, The Beatty Gallery, Sydney, NSW.
1995
Chant, The Beatty Gallery, Sydney, NSW.
1994
The Bitumen Paintings, The Beatty Gallery, Sydney, NSW.
1993
Painting – John Edwards, The Beatty Gallery, Sydney, NSW.
1992
Still Painting, First Draft West, Sydney, NSW.
1990
Paintings, Fiveways Gallery, Sydney, NSW.
1989
Paintings and More, Fiveways Gallery, Sydney, NSW.
1988
Paintings and Drawings, Fourteen Roses Gallery, Sydney, NSW.

Group Exhibitions: (Selected)
 
2018
Art Van Go Art Prize, Duck Rabbit Gallery, Sydney NSW
2017,16,13,98
Salon des Refusés, S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney
2017
Finalist Exhibition, NSW Parliament Plein Air Art Prize, Sydney NSW
New Space, King Street Gallery on William, Sydney
2017,14
Finalist Exhibition, Kilgour National Art Prize, Newcastle Art Gallery, NSW
Finalist Exhibition, Hazelhurst Works on Paper Prize, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery, NSW
2016
Finalist Exhibition, Grace Cossington Smith Art Award, Grace Cossington Smith Gallery, Wahroonga, NSW
Finalist Exhibition, Mosman Art Prize, Mosman Regional Art Gallery, Sydney
2016,15
Salon des Refusés Travelling Exhibition, Mornington Peninsula Art Gallery, Victoria
2014
Finalist Exhibition, Watercolour Acquisitive Prize, Wollongong Art Gallery, NSW.
2014,12
The Big Picture, King Street Gallery on William, Sydney, NSW.
2013
Looking Forward, King Street Gallery on William, Sydney, NSW.
Finalist Exhibition, Paddington Art Prize, Mary Place Gallery, Sydney, NSW.
2012
Finalist Exhibition, Norvill Art Prize Murrurundi, NSW.
The Big Picture, King Street Gallery on William, Sydney, NSW.
2009,05,94
Finalist Exhibition, Sir John Sulman Prize, Art Gallery of NSW (AGNSW), Sydney, NSW.
2007
Last show of the year, King Street Gallery on William, Sydney, NSW.
Compositions, King Street Gallery on William, Sydney, NSW.
The Depot, Danks Street, Sydney, NSW.
2006,03,00,99,98
Last Show of the year, King Street Gallery on Burton, Sydney, NSW.
2006, 03,02
Packsaddle Art Exhibition, New England Regional Gallery, Armidale, NSW.
2003
Picture Paradise, Mori Gallery, Sydney, NSW.
2002
Finalist Exhibition, Wynne Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW.
2001
Bat, Ball and Brush: A Summer of Cricket and Art Sydney Cricket Ground Gallery, Sydney, NSW.
1999
On the Tiles, Sir Hermann Black Gallery, University of Sydney, NSW.
1997
Surface Tension Sir Hermann Black Gallery, University of Sydney, NSW.
Director´s Cut, The Beatty Gallery, Sydney, NSW.
1996 ,95,92
Finalist Exhibition, Blake Prize for Religious Art Mitchell Galleries, State Library of NSW, Sydney, NSW.
Traveling Exhibition: St. John Cathedral, Brisbane; Noosa Regional Art Gallery, Qld; Carnegie Gallery, Hobart; Cathedral of St Paul, Melbourne
For the Pleasure of It, The Beatty Gallery, Sydney, NSW.
1996,95,94
Finalist Exhibition, Fishers Ghost Prize Exhibition Campbelltown Bicentennial City Art Gallery, NSW
Private View, (with Malcolm Benham) The Beatty Gallery, Sydney, NSW.
Visibility The Beatty Gallery, Sydney, NSW.
Spellbound No. 2, (in conjunction with Scrap Culture Series) Michael Burke Gallery, Brisbane, QLD.
Three Sydney Painters (with Miranda Parkes and Malcolm Benham), Bowen Galleries, Wellington, New Zealand.
The Contemporary Collection, Sir Hermann Black Gallery, University of Sydney, NSW.
1995
Blake Prize, Travelling Exhibition 1995: Orange Regional Gallery, NSW; Campbelltown Bicentennial City Art Gallery, NSW; Hibiscus Gallery, Hobart, Tasmania; Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, NSW.
Red, The Beatty Gallery, Sydney, NSW.
Recent Acquisitions, Sir Hermann Black Gallery, University of Sydney, NSW.
Alumni Exhibition, College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales.
1995, 94,92
Finalist Exhibition, Archibald Prize Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW.
1994
Random, The Beatty Gallery, Sydney, NSW.
Beat the Drum (assemblages), The Beatty Gallery, Sydney, NSW.
1993
3/5 Studio Exhibition, Three different locations in Sydney.
1992
Archibald Prize 1992, travelling Exhibition: Campbelltown Art Gallery; Newcastle Region Art Gallery, NSW; Tweed River; Regional Gallery, Qld.
Shadow Images, Arthaus Gallery, Sydney, NSW
Images Congress Project, Pisa, Italy.
The Mental Zoo Wisconsin, USA.
1991, 86
Finalist Exhibition, International Exhibition of Miniature Art Del Ballo Gallery, Toronto, Canada.
1986
International Copy Art Biennial, Taller Galleria Fort, Barcelona, Spain.
1985
Works on Paper, Imprint Gallery, Sydney, NSW.
Sydney Morning Herald Heritage Exhibition, Blaxland Gallery, Sydney, NSW.
1983
The End Game, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney, NSW.

Awards/Prizes/Commendations:
2018
Art Van Go Art Prize: Duck Rabbit Gallery, Sydney, NSW.
2017
Judges Commendation: Kilgour National Art Prize, Newcastle Regional Art Gallery, NSW.
2014
Highly Commended, Watercolour Acquisitive Prize, Wollongong Regional Art Gallery, NSW.
2013
Highly Commended & Parker Prize, Paddington Art Prize, Mary Place Gallery, Sydney, NSW.

Media/Citations/Reviews/Publications:
2017
Kellar, Jim Countdown to Kilgour Prize, Newcastle Herald, NSW, 28 July, 2017
McDonald, John Choice Cuts, Spectrum, Sydney Morning Herald, Aug 5-6 2017, p. 12.
2015
Featured, The Mix, ABCTV Channel 24, 19 July, 2015
2013
Preview, ABC TV, Salon des Refusés S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney
2011
Fortesque, Elizabeth: Daily Telegraph Arts
2008
Kidd, Courtney: Preview NSW, Australian Art Collector, Issue No. 43
Profiles, Art Almanac, February 2008 p174
2006
Fortescue, Elizabeth: Weekend Planner, Feb 11, p85
2003
Conomos, John: 10 Year Survey Exhibition, catalogue essay
1998
Art Times, Newtown Times, July Issue, Sydney
1997
Kidd, Courtney: Surface Tension, catalogue essay, University of Sydne,y Art Gallery
1996
Smee, Sebastian: Faith, Hope and Clarity, (Blake Prize Review), Sydney Morning Herald, Dec.19
Smee, Sebastian: Bubble, Bubble, Painter Double, Sydney Morning Herald, Nov.1
1995
Fennely, Steven: Homage to Tony Tuckson, Review Program ABC TV, Sept.18
Luckett, Suellyn: Up Down & Across, catalogue essay Campbelltown Art Gallery, NSW
McDonald, John: Dreams of Hope and Menace, Sydney Morning Herald, March 18
Prendergrast, Maria: The Australian Arts Diary, Debden Associates, Australia.

Collections:
 
Artbank, Australia
Australian Embassy, China
University of Wollongong, NSW
Sydney West International College, NSW
The Children´s Hospital, Westmead, NSW
University of Technology, Sydney
Symnans Saker Elliot and Hickman collection, New Zealand
University of Sydney, NSW.

Private Collections:
 
Australia, USA and Europe

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