Tony Edwards

Tony Edwards

Tony Edwards

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
    Artist’s Statement

    I, started my love and passion for photography almost 40 years ago when I purchased my first 35mm SLR camera. There have been many changes to equipment in that time and I started in photography even before autofocus lenses were introduced. At the time, I started with a fully manual camera with manual focus lenses. I have seen some of the great changes in photography. These changes include the introduction of SCAF lenses, Autofocus cameras, APS-C, the decline of film and the rise of digital. I mastered my art and love of photography on equipment that would be seen as archaic now. 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. Of course, I am still available for corporate and commercial work but it is the art of photography that is the most exciting aspect of my work.

    Over the course of my career, I have had work published in various magazines as well as photographed album and book covers. I am more enthusiastic now about

    Photography than when I first began. I now take and make photographs every single day.
    ​Currently, I am following my passion for Fine Arts Photography which has lead me to produce work for an exhibition that deals with expressing my thoughts and expression on how I see the world. The images that I now produce show an interconnection between light and shade.


    I was born in Bankstown, NSW, though to be honest I am a product of Sydney as I lived in 23 different houses before I turned 18. I have lived everywhere from western suburbs to the North Shore of Sydney, from the Blue Mountains to the Hills District. I feel that I am a true gypsy of the city of Sydney.

    I now call the city of Blacktown my home. Living in the western suburbs of Sydney allows for a mixing of diverse cultures which in turn feeds my creative spirit. Working as a Fine Arts Photographer in Western Sydney and in particular Blacktown is a very rewarding experience.

    From the earliest age I remember ‘seeing’ 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. While I was not a great artist when it came to drawing or painting I loved to create with tactile materials. At the same time 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 that 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 during these formative years that mental illness also became part of my life. My illness started at around the age of 7 and has been a life-long companion. 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. I came from a working class family that did not see creative pursuits as anything more than a passing hobby or interest. Despite my obvious interest in the arts I was encouraged to forge a living from more ‘grounded’ activities. My first job was as a saddle and heavy harness maker where I gained joy from leather carving. I also worked in regional radio stations as an announcer. Photography was always in the background though, and became a means of supplementing my income when for 12 years I taught photography at adult evening colleges. This eventually led me to Macquarie University where I studied to be a teacher. I went on to work as a secondary school History Teacher. The classroom that I led was always one that encouraged and supported art as a way of engaging with the past and enhancing learning.

    It was my mental illness that blocked my teaching career as it became more severe in intensity. I went on to be diagnosed at this time with Schizoaffective disorder as well as chronic depression. After years of inactivity I wanted change and one day wrote on a sheet of paper, “if you could do anything that made you happy again, what would it be?” I wrote a one word answer, “PHOTOGRAPHY”. That simple act lead me to study photography. My search lead me to attend NADC (Nepean Arts and Design Centre) which is housed within Nepean TAFE, Kingswood Campus. It was here that I was given the freedom to explore and grow - all the while being encouraged as a photographer. It was like meeting my own tribe for the first time. I had come home.

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