Photographer Tony Edwards hosts solo show in conjunction with Head On Festival
His Head On associated exhibition - As I See It - will be open to the public from May 5-May 26 at ArtSHINE @Yuga Cafe & Gallery, 172 St. Johns Road, Glebe NSW 2037.
His images will be featured alongside some of the greats of the photography scene including Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Paula Bronstein and leading contemporary artist Peng Xiangjie from China.
The main Head On Festival - running from May 5-16 - will be hosted Paddington Town Council, in Oxford Street, Paddington.
Bankstown-born Edwards has developed a lifelong association with photography since the late 60s and has gone on to critical success in the corporate and commercial worlds, as well as having images featured in various magazines, album and book covers.
On his solo exhibition, he commented: "I am following my passion for Fine Arts Photography which has lead me to produce work for the exhibition. The images I now produce are an interconnection between light and shade."
He added: "I am a product of Sydney as I lived in 23 different houses before I turned 18. From the western suburbs to North Shore and the Blue Mountains to the Hills District, I feel I am a true gipsy of Sydney.
"Living in Blacktown allows me to enjoy a diverse mix of cultures which in turn feeds my creative spirit."
He said that from an early age "I saw the work I wanted to make long before it was started.
"This gift of visualisation has not only enhanced my photography but has helped to shape it. Photography was always a thing that I just did. I was the kid with the camera.
"Back in the late 1960s or early 1970s, I had point and shoot cameras or Polaroid cameras. It wasn't until my teens I discovered the true joy of 35mm SLR photography - my love of tactility was transferred to the tools of the trade and I developed an obsession with image-making."
It was at the age of seven he had a mental illness which continues to play a part in his life today. He said: "While there is a belief that artistic ability and mental illness are correlated, sometimes I work to express this pain and at other times it is in spite of it.
"All art is an expression of thoughts, feelings, and emotions - my art is filtered through the pain of my daily struggle. The greatest counter to my illness is my drive, passion, and desire to create every single day.
"The reengagement with the art of photography comes after a life lived making other choices."
While photography remained a background interest, he pursued careers as a saddle and heavy harness maker, taught photography at adult evening colleges, and then as secondary school history teacher.
His mental illness was diagnosed as Schizoaffective Disorder as well as chronic depression. He said: "After years of inactivity I wanted change and one day wrote on a sheet of paper, if I could do anything that made you happy again, what would it be? I wrote one word: photography."
This inspired him to study photography at NADC (Nepean Arts and Design Centre) which is housed within Nepean TAFE, Kingswood Campus. It was here that his true calling was met and has since pursued it with vigour.
He added: "The one constant that stays true, through it all, is that a good photograph is taken by good photographers and the better you get the less luck or chance get relied upon. "In this new phase of my photographic journey, I am focused on producing images for exhibitions, bespoke pieces as well as photo books. The art of photography is the most exciting aspect of my work."
As well as exhibiting at Head On, his work will also be showcased among a host of talented Australian artists at New York's Surtex Show.
Sydney's art hub, ArtSHINE, will be helping to represent Tony and the 20-other talented artists at Surtex, the global B2B marketplace for sourcing original art & design.
ArtSHINE will be participating for the time and representing Australia at Surtex which runs from May 20-22. ArtSHINE ‘s vision is to bring their work to a global stage and connect their art to the licensees, manufacturers and art directors who resonate with their works, and license them into products such as greeting cards, stationery, prints and merchandise.
To view Tony's website: www. tonyedwardsphotography.com
ArtSHINE licensing, a division of ArtSHINE Industries, is a Sydney based licensing agency representing a diverse, fresh, and on trend portfolio of Australia based creative industries professionals.