Clifford B. Edwards.  H.D.F.A., D.F.A.,  Cert. Ed.

Brief Biography

Cliff Edwards is an artist, educator and writer. After completing three years at his local art college in what is now Buckinghamshire New University, he moved to London to study Fine Art at the Slade School of Art, London University. Here he worked initially as a painter but toward the end of his degree and during his post-graduate years he produced large environmental ‘earth works’ which explored issues of global, environmental and philosophical concerns.

During this time he also studies and worked with the architect and author Keith Critchlow, and met Buckminster Fuller, the American designer, author and futurist, both of whom were to affect a profound influence on his later work. During his post graduate time Cliff also engaged in educational projects in London schools, designing and building geodesic and polyhedral domes.

From his early college years he had a keen interest in Eastern and Western philosophy and metaphysics, particularly works that draw from the world’s spiritual traditions, and to what the author Aldous Huxley was to call ‘The Perennial Philosophy.’ He began to present visual lectures on such themes as ‘Myths and Symbols of Evolution’, and ‘Introduction to the Sacred Art of Islam’  to universities and teacher training colleges. During his time at the Slade School he studied meditation, and after completing of his post-graduate course, became a teacher and ran a meditation centre in Harrow on the Hill whilst also teaching art and design at numerous educational institutions.  After becoming a full time college lecturer he was later involved in developing art and design educational initiatives with national accreditation boards whilst raising his family.

Cliff has travelled extensively across Europe, USA, North Africa, Iran and South East Asia, including Indonesia, Thailand, India and Sri Lanka, gleaning knowledge and imagery for his work.  He now continues to make art work using botanical, landscape and abstracted themes which often incorporate geometric backgrounds or borders. His work has been exhibited at numerous solo and group exhibitions including the Royal Academy and the Piccadilly Gallery, London. His work can be found in public collections in France and many private collections in the USA, UK, the Middle East, Australia and worldwide. In 2021 he completed and published a book, ‘Number, Nature and Design’, rich in visual imagery, which explores and integrates the role of number, geometry and symbolism in nature, art and architecture. 

Early influences upon his artwork were the colour field paintings of the American artist Jules Olitsky and Mark Rothko. He has continued to give importance to the emotional content of content of colour throughout his later work. When  interviewed about his work in 2022 for a Canadian arts magazine by Dr Roksana Bharamitash, a contemporary author and Persian Scholar and professor at  Mc Gill University, Canada, Cliff states that during his university years, having take a strong interest in Islamic architecture and geometry, he left for southern Spain to visit Granada and Cordoba, and here his art work took a new direction. He then followed this by travelling to Iran, particularly inspired by the building in the city of  Isfahan, Iran. This led to a further travels in North Africa including  Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt. Asked about why his artwork often integrates geometry as an underpinning background or border he refers to the writings of S.H. Nasr and Nadar Ardalan, where geometric pattern is stated to symbolise the permanence that is underlying change, the hidden within the manifest, and evokes sense of a unity and harmony within multiplicity. In Islamic art, which aspires to little realistic representation, the interpretation of the Divine could be thought of as a vibrating stillness that is all pervading, manifesting itself through geometric design, symbolising  a Pure Consciousness that underpins individual essence and that of the universe.  In his work Edwards combines this geometry with partly abstracted imagery and endeavours to evoke this sense and experience of the formless behind the concrete world.