Christopher Edwards was born in Tasmania and is married with 2 adult children. He studied medicine at the University of Tasmania, graduating in 1975. He then went on to train as a Plastic and Reconstructive surgeon in Hobart, Sydney and Scotland. He practiced in Hobart for 29 years until his retirement to full time sculpture in June 2015. He is a Past President of The Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
Christopher is a self-taught sculptor. He has always had an interest in design aesthetics and has taken on woodwork, metalwork, painting and sculpture.
Medical and Plastic Surgery training has provided an extensive knowledge of human anatomy, proportion and aesthetics.
His passion for bronze figurative sculpture stemmed from attending a 3 day drawing and modelling workshop (“The Art of Reconstruction”) run specifically for plastic surgeons by Michael Esson, Director of International Drawing research at The College of Fine Arts of The University of New South Wales. Through a series of exercises, including clay modelling surgeons were introduced to an alternative way of thinking about form from their traditional surgical training. This provided an enhanced appreciation of three-dimensional curves, angles and volume which is a great asset in the practice of plastic surgery.
Plastic surgery and art have long had a close association. A good example of this is famous collection of pastels by Henry Tonks done during World War I for Sir Harold Gillies, the founding father of British plastic surgery. Many plastic surgeons have creative talents outside of their practice of Medicine.
Christopher researched the complex process of converting a clay image into bronze and produced his first figure in 2003. He uses the ancient lost wax technique.
Christopher has had the privilege of attending a 5-day “Master Class” conducted by renowned American sculptor Richard Macdonald in his Monterey studio in 2006 and 2009. Richard has a renaissance approach and his figurative sculptures of dancers and theatrical figures are an inspiration.
Christopher has traveled extensively and has learned a great deal from observing art, both ancient and contemporary in Europe and America.
The main themes of current works are a tribute to the inherent beauty of the human form. Sculptures depict moments of tranquil elation, grace, and transcendent states. Many share a sensitively erotic theme - a celebration of life.
Other works illustrate the anatomy beneath and may even take on a more sinister theme.
The sculptures have a somewhat ‘idealist’ rather than ‘realist’ character.
Christopher believes that an ideal art form should not only be uniquely conceived but should be technically well executed and emblematic of the artist’s style. There is perhaps now an over-emphasis on innovation and the search for new ideas for their own sakes over traditional skills and enduring materials. A deep understanding of technique, process and anatomy is a liberating factor in the creative potential of a sculptor.
The attraction of bronze as a medium is that having undergone the necessary transformation to embody the subject it maintains its own distinctive character.
Christopher’s work is held in many private collections both in Australia and Internationally. He has exhibited at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Annual Scientific Meeting and the International Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery meeting. He has given presentations on “Art & Plastic Surgery” to both the medical profession and art interest groups. He is at present the feature artist at the luxury resort Saffire on the Freycinet Peninsular in Tasmania.
A two-artist figurative sculpture exhibition was held at The Handmark Gallery in Hobart in September 2011. Sir Guy Green a previous Governor of Tasmania and patron to the arts officially opened this show.
Christopher has twice been a finalist in the Deakin University Contemporary Small Sculpture Award, a finalist in the Tom Bass Sculpture Prize and the Bakhap Award for Sculpture.