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Edwards was born in Halifax, England to Muriel and Jack Edwards and was educated at Halifax School of Art 1960 – 62 and then Bradford College of Art 1962 – 65. He then moved to London, becoming known as an "undisputed protagonist of the London rock scene." He became a significant figure in the London art scene during the 1960s and beyond. His work over the years apart from painting has included graphic design and illustration, murals, textile design, photography, film direction and ceramic arts.
Edwards first came to prominence in 1967 during the Swinging London era, and quickly confirmed his legendary credentials as co-founder of pioneering pop art collective 'Binder, Edwards & Vaughan' aka BEV – a collective consisting of artwork by Douglas Binder and Edwards, with David Vaughan acting as their manager/agent. Binder and Edwards produced vibrantly painted furniture: a notable piece being Paul McCartney’s "magic" piano. The piano now resides in his music room in London. According to McCartney writing the songs 'Getting Better', 'Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band' and 'Fixing a Hole' on the decorative piano "added to all the fun of it". The psych-painted instrument is said to have also inspired the 'Hey Jude' album's kaleidoscope aesthetic. BEV were selected to represent the ‘Swinging Sixties’ at Madame Tussauds, in recognition of their artistic contribution to that era. The piano was described by Micky Dolenz of The Monkees as "the freakiest thing you've ever seen".
Group murals appeared everywhere from the boutiques of Kings Road and Carnaby Street to the British Pavilion at Montreal's Expo '67.
The collective were renowned for their ground-breaking light shows, including 'The Million Volt Light & Sound Rave' at The Roundhouse in London. This multimedia art, light and sound installation featured the only known public presentation of the 'Carnival of Light' sound collage created by Paul McCartney and John Lennon during recording sessions for their Sgt Pepper album.
The group disbanded in 1967, although their 'architectural work positioned [them] at the forefront of cutting edge Art and Design [that] would go on to inspire the Graffiti and Street Art movements that would develop years later.' Despite their short existence, between 1965 and 1967, the group was described as being 'The Beatles of the art world.'
Later that year Dudley Edwards and Michael McInnerney merged their identity together as ‘OM Tentacle’, named after the OM sound, or OM point at the beginning of creation, according to Buddhist and Hindu teachings. OM Tentacle painted the front of the Dragon restaurant in the Kings Road, and made a number of psychedelic posters, record covers and book jackets, including the poster for the La Fenetre Rose concert in Paris and illustrations for 'The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics.'
When OM Tentacle disbanded Edwards went on to co-direct (with Martin Cook) a documentary film ‘FRED’ about a devotee of Meher Baba for Pete Townshend. In the intervening years he continued to Illustrate Record Covers, book jackets, magazines and posters. These were interspersed with commissions from other genres. In the summer of 1975 he was commissioned by Stan Peskett to photograph the Harlem Ballet in New York's Rockefeller Plaza for Yves St Laurent. In 1982 Sheik Abdul Aziz-Zaidan commissioned him to paint a huge ceramic mural for his palace in Al Karj, and then - again working with Douglas Binder in 1976 he created a suite of sixteen ceramic murals for the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Defense HQ in Riyadh.
Dudley Edwards has taught at Hornsey College of Art, Stafford College of Art, Bradford College of Art. Leeds Metropolitan University and Cleveland College of Art. He has been a guest speaker at The Royal College of Art, London; The Commonwealth Institute, London; In Australia at Swinburne University, South Wales University and The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, In India at the NiA institute, Delhi; and in Ireland at the National College of Art & Design, Dublin.
In 1995 Edwards joined family business ‘AMAZED Ltd’ which his partner Madeleine Edwards had started previously. The couple create rugs and wall hangings for celebrities and the Big Brother house. Items of their textile collections have been part of exhibitions in the modern art gallery Tate Liverpool and the V&A, London: England See below for citation.
Dudley still continues to produce work and has exhibited at:
Arts Council Touring Exhibition to Edinburgh, Glasgow & Cardiff; Galerie 5, Geneva, Switzerland; Association of Illustrators Gallery, London; England & Co, London; the Musee d’ Histoire Contemporaine, Paris; Brighton Art Gallery; Red House Gallery, Harrogate; The Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Tate Gallery, Liverpool; and Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt; Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna; the Whitney Museum of Art, New York, The Crossley Gallery, Dean Clough Mills, Halifax. Redhouse Originals, Harrogate; England.
Since 2009, Edwards has continued to paint and his diverse output has continued to excite critics. His work has been exhibited in notable galleries throughout the world including the Robert Fraser Gallery in London and Galerie 5 in Geneva. Touring exhibitions have included the V&A, Tate Liverpool, Schirn Kunsthalle, Kunsthalle Wien, The Musee d'Histoire Contemporaine, and the Whitney Museum of Art.
Edwards has been a guest speaker at a number of renowned art institutions, including The Royal College of Art, The Commonwealth Institute in London, National College of Art & Design, and the NiA Institute in Delhi.
He recently filmed for Michael Cain's 2017 film My Generation.
- Bradford College of Art, Hall of Frame - Dudley Edwards http://alumni.bradfordcollege.ac.uk/node/38 Archived 2010-10-16 at the Wayback Machine
- "Art, rugs and rock 'n'roll...", BBC Bradford & West Yorkshire, Summer 2005. Retrieved 2013-06-25.
- "Google Translate". translate.google.com. Retrieved 2019-09-04.
- Lapicida UK, Sixties Rock Meets Lapicida http://www.lapicida.com/blog/11-10-11/Sixties_Rock_meets_Lapicida.aspx[permanent dead link]
- Cassone Art News Dudley Edwards at Harvey Nicols, Leeds" http://www.cassone-art.com/art-news/2011/09/dudley-edwards-at-harvey-nichols-leeds/
- Art in Liverpool Dudley Edwards Exhibition at 3345 http://www.artinliverpool.com/?p=10212
- Harrogate News In Technicolour" http://www.harrogate-news.co.uk/2012/04/26/in-technicolour date:26/04/2012/[full citation needed]
- The Look Dudley Edwards, Pop Art Visionary http://rockpopfashion.com/blog/?p=200
- Rock, Henry Yates2017-05-26T13:55:00 145Z Classic. "50 Things You Might Not Know About Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band". Classic Rock Magazine. Retrieved 2019-10-16.
- "Dudley Edwards Exhibition Art Gallery Harrogate | RedHouse Originals". www.redhouseoriginals.com. Retrieved 2019-09-04.
- Peter (2012-12-07). "A Dandy In Aspic: Binder, Edwards & Vaughn". A Dandy In Aspic. Retrieved 2019-10-23.
- "From psychedelic pianos to helmet history, Grammy burning questions answered". TODAY.com. Retrieved 2019-10-16.
- New Art Collectors Artist Portfolio - Dudley Edwards http://www.newartcollectors.com/artist_portfolio.asp?Artist=Dudley%20Edwards&Portfolio=1354
- Amazed Ltd Exhibitions http://www.amazedltd.com/main.html,/[permanent dead link]
1 Hathaway, Norman (2011). Electrical Banana. Damiani: Italy. pp. 62–83