John Beard


John Beard (born 1943) is a Welsh artist and painter born in Aberdare, Wales, he is now based in Sydney, Lisbon and London.

Life and art
John Beard won the Welsh National Art Scholarship in 1962 at just 19 years of age. After training at the Swansea College of Art, he completed further studies at the University of London and the Royal College of Art, London.

In 1965 he won the British Arts Council International Prize and Commission, and has since won many residences and commission at various Universities and establishments around the globe. After various teaching posts in the United Kingdom, Beard arrived in Western Australia in 1983, to become Senior Lecturer, Head of Painting, Curtin University, Perth. After resigning in 1989, Beard traveled extensively, living and exhibiting in cities such as New York, Madrid, Lisbon and London before establishing a Sydney base in 1997. When the Tate Gallery opened its St Ives gallery in Cornwall, 1998, John Beard was one of the first artists to be offered a residency and exhibition there.

Since the mid-1990’s John Beard’s paintings have explored the fugitive nature of reality. While living in Sintra on the Atlantic coast of Portugal, Beard made the “Adaga” series of paintings which were studies of a massive off-shore rock which constantly changed its character in the surging sea and shifting light.

This same investigation led Beard into portraiture – except that he is not interested in painting portraits as such, but in examining the nature of portraiture and its implications for the epistemology of human recognition.

Selected collections

  • Artbank Australia, Australia
  • Arts Council of Great Britain, England
  • Art Gallery of NSW, Australia
  • Art Gallery of Western Australia, Australia
  • Centro do Arte Moderna da Fundacao Calouste Gulbenkian, Portugal
  • Curtin University, Australia
  • Gold Coast City Art Gallery, Australia
  • Macquarie University, Australia
  • Murdoch University, Sydney, Australia
  • National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia
  • National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia
  • New Parliament House Collection, Canberra, Australia
  • Oxford University, England
  • Queensland Art Gallery, Australia
  • Robert Holmes a Court Collection, Australia
  • Sydney University, Australia
  • Tate Gallery, England
  • University of Melbourne (Victorian College of the Arts), Australia
  • University of New South Wales, Australia
  • University of the Northern Territory, Australia
  • University of Western Australia, Australia
  • Represented in private collections in America, Canada, England, Wales, Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and India.

Selected awards and fellowships

  • 2007 Archibald Prize, Art Gallery of NSW
  • 2006 Wynne Prize (Landscape), Art Gallery of NSW
  • 1994 Australia Council, Award to Assist Series of Solo Exhibitions in Europe
  • 1989 Australia Council Major Fellowship, Visual Arts & Craft Board
  • 1984 West Australia Invitation Art Award, Fremantle Art Gallery
  • 1983 Pegasus Art Award, Art Gallery of Western Australia
  • 1965 British Arts Council International Prize and Commission, Aberdare Public Library Mural, Wales
  • 1962 Welsh National Arts Scholarship