Mike Edwards is an established artist based in Brighton UK. He is well known for his portraits made of text - such as the commissioned typographic portrait of Lord Attenborough, now on permanent public display at the Attenborough Centre for Creative Arts in Brighton - or the portrait of Nadya from Pussy Riot created from the text of a William Wordsworth poem.
The new Black Fireworks body of work is a break out from Edwards recognised style and signals a new direction towards a more sophisticated approach to painting.
"A lot of my work has a duality - whether it's in the earlier text works where visual images were created solely from writing - or more recent works that combine tight bits of painting with unpredictable, visceral action painting. Most obvious is in a diptych painting I made last year called 'The Thinker' where one canvas is painted blurred and out of focus and the forms recede into background pictorial space, while the other has a tromp l'oeil painted neon effect that creates an illusion of coming forward through the canvas. It wasn't necessarily a conscious thought, more something that's evolved - but I like the tension and energy between the two contrasting elements. I believe there is a balance between all things. Coincidentally, I've just read A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry which, within the story, is a study of the balance between hope and despair. As an artist, the line between hope and despair is a familiar one. Generally, though, I'm more often hopeful".