David Edgar, portrait by Nathan Taylor
David Edgar, portrait by Nathan Taylor
David Edgar (born 1971, Sydney) is a visual artist, arts administrator and educator based in Hobart, Tasmania.

His artworks are fundamentally about an interest in drawing, and in recent years he has worked exclusively with charcoal and pastel and mostly large in scale. He makes drawings derived from personal experiences of being in wild and isolated locations. Within this, he seeks disturbances of both material and psychological resonance. He uses a range of media to record these uneasy experiences, before bringing them back into his studio to explore them further with drawing.

His art making process involves the coalescence of intuition and immediacy amongst structure and careful planning where the form and content of collected on-site data is re-engaged with and re-worked many times over. The artworks are grounded in ideas of phenomenology, geology, the void, landscape and place, and existentialism, where factors such as memory, space, deterioration, atmosphere and mood are embedded alongside a wide range of mark making techniques, such as scribbling, that affect the act and outcome of the drawings.

His art practice is grounded in many years of academic training experimenting with printmaking, photography, experimental and life drawing as well as art and film theory. He has a particular interest in cinematic form and landscape allegories of Yasujirô Ozu and Michelangelo Antonioni, and contemporaries Nuri Bilge Ceylan and Hirokazu Koreeda, amongst many others.

David’s education in the arts includes degrees in Fine Art from Bachelor, Honours (1st class) and Masters through to PhD (submitted in 2018) from the University of Tasmania. He has completed a further four years of fine art study at the National Art School in Sydney. David has exhibited internationally in the US, across Tasmania, and in most States of Australia, including at Sydney Contemporary, twice during Tasmania’s 10 Days on the Island international arts festival, and at Contemporary Art Tasmania in North Hobart.

He has been a finalist, winner, highly commended and has had work purchased by a number of Australian art prizes – including being acquired by the Kedbumba Drawing Collection, winning the Corangamarah Art Prize in Victoria, as a selected finalist in the Marie Ellis OAM Drawing Prize, Heysen Prize for Interpretation of Place (receiving a Highly Commended), Bay of Fires Art Prize, Sunshine Coast Art Prize, Hutchins Art Prize and twice at the City of Hobart Art Prize.

He has received a Tasmanian Research Scholarship and an Australian Postgraduate Award for study at Masters and PhD level, as well as competitive grant funding from the Australia Council for the Arts, and on a number of occasions through Arts Tasmania and was the award-winning recipient of the Artist-in-Residence program from the Cradle Coast Campus of the University of Tasmania where he undertook a 4-week artist residency in the north west of Tasmania. 

As an arts administrator, he has worked for over 12 years at Arts Tasmania, the Tasmanian State Government’s agency responsible for policy and planning including the administration of funding to the arts and cultural heritage sector in Tasmania. His position as program officer has seen him administer a number of programs, including; artists’ residencies for local and international artists; develop policies and projects in the contemporary music and public art sectors, coordinate the publication of a series of monographs on prominent Tasmanian visual artists; as well as administer funding to artists and arts organisations. 

He is currently a member of the Tasmanian Department of State Growth’s Cultural and Creative Industries Expert Register, and has previously been a member of a number of Panels, Selection Committee’s and other Peer Register’s to assess applications submitted under the Tasmanian State Government's annual arts investment programs through Arts Tasmania.

He is currently a judge on the MyState Student Film Festival (and has been for over a decade) and was expert arts judge on the Tasmanian Young Achiever of the Year Awards for 12 years. He has undertaken numerous courses in project management, government policy, and philanthropy in the arts. In what seems like a previous life, he once worked for a performing arts company and managed small, medium and large-scale contemporary music and corporate event venues. 

As an educator, he has delivered drawing workshops and taught undergraduate and honours students in drawing, life drawing and observational drawing, as well as lithography and Art and Design Core Studies at the School of Creative Arts, University of Tasmania. 

He is currently represented in Tasmania by Handmark.