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, five 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 and recent achievements.
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. ~ John Edwards.
Public Collections Include:
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.
Australia, USA and Europe