Born Aberdare, Wales 1943, arrived Australia 1983


John Beard undertook formal art training at the Swansea College of Art, Wales (1965), the University of London (1966), and the Royal College of Art, London (1981). Arriving in Australia in 1983 he held senior teaching positions and became the Head of Fine Art at Curtin University, Perth until 1989.

Beard established a reputation for his portraits and landscapes prior to arriving in Australia, and throughout his career his style has moved between abstract, expressionistic and figurative styles. Once in Australia his painting palette changed significantly and from the 1980s his works became richer and more intense in colour as he responded to the clear light and unfamiliar landscape.

The two lyrical works in the Cbus Collection, Blank thought blood remembering III and Blank thoughts, blood remembering VIII are part of a series of fifteen ambitious, large-scale monotypes made at Sydney Print Studio during December 1988 and January 1989, with the assistance of Diana Davidson and Peter Stephens.

Subsequently, Beard has won a number of major prizes, including the Wynne Prize (2006) and the Archibald Prize (2007) at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Beard’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions and has been included in group exhibitions in Australia and internationally. Works by Beard are held in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia, and state art galleries including the National Gallery of Victoria, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and Australian university galleries, as well as international institutions.