“One cannot help but think of Dunlop as an artist with a keen eye for detail and composition, but rather than create work slavishly to the watchwords, he chooses invocation.” – Dr Jonathon McBurnie
“Dunlop’s contribution to the nation’s painting discourse is an entirely original one in which he has consistently incorporated, intersected and challenged the long-established landscape, botanical, figurative and still-life traditions.” – Eric Nash
‘Ned by the Mighty Murray’ (After Nolan) – 12 works on board 30 x 180cm being created in late May-June during an artist’s residency at Ned’s Outback Station, Victoria. Return here in late June to see them.
“Those that I fought, I do not hate Those that I guard, I do not love.”
– W. B. Yeats, An Irish Airman Foresees his Death, 1918
“Dunlop displays an ability to express through visual media profound sentiments that defy easy rationalisation. This seems to derive from an intuitive source that shifts from work to work, rather than a consistently regulated one. It is this almost poetic impulse that contributes to the tender beauty of these paintings, which is nevertheless tempered by his acknowledgement of dark, unknowable spaces that exist alongside it. Dunlop cites a drive through Victorian country towns during the ANZAC day period in 2010 as the spark of genesis for this exhibition. As an artist who for many years has sought to reinvigorate the still life genre, witnessing the floral wreaths laid at the base of stone monuments and noting the tension between the ephemeral, decaying wreaths and the solidity of the stone had a resonating impact. These rituals of the living to honour the dead have a kind of didactic function, a way of consistently reminding society about the horror of war in order to avoid its recurrence. Yet perhaps more important to their conveyance of meaning is the tragic beauty encapsulated by the slowly fading wreath, as though by the steady progress of time something once alive is reduced to dust, air and matter. These memorials form a gentle but pervasive metaphor for a greater context.” – Marguerite Brown, 2011
“Ultimate excellence lies not in winning every battle but in defeating the enemy without ever fighting. The highest form of warfare is to attack strategy itself… The place I intend to attack must not be known. If it is unknown, the enemy will have to reinforce many places. The enemy will reinforce many places, but I shall attack few… Do not thwart a returning army. Leave a passage for a besieged army. Do not press an enemy at bay.” – Sun Tzu The Art of War 6th Century BC
“Like a favourite artist, Otto Dix, I believe portraits are only worth painting when there is an intuitive sense of some inordinate major changes looming in the subject’s life. That’s when the person is caught in their own headlights, exhibiting vulnerabilities that only last for so long until they regain their balance.” – Richard Dunlop 2002
“As the word itself implies, vision is a matter of seeing, and seeing comes from looking; if an artist has the potential for any kind of original vision, it will be found only by patient and humble attention, and the concomitant, simultaneous effort to crystallise what is understood in concrete form. For what is ultimately seen is through rather than on the surface of things, and the artist must reshape the world to make visible what he has perceived by intuition.” – Christopher Allen 2014
Apart from fires caused by natural events, arson is a crime which continues to plague rural Australia, combated by courageous volunteers, and here depicted in extensive nineteenth century style neo-Romantic panoramas in the manner of Eugene von Geurard. Sigmund Freud wrote a seminal essay on the psychology of arsonists in 1932, linking it with the myth of Prometheus, punished for stealing fire from the Gods.
“Exponential advances in science and technology, especially in learning how to compartmentalise nature has assisted its rapid exploitation and depletion of diversity. It would be difficult to hold any religion for quite that much devastation.”– Richard Dunlop, 1986
“This series of small paintings now comes to resemble the hooded figures tortured in Abu Ghraib prison, but they were completed well before that, more in conversation with European art history rather than a subscription to any religious ideology.”– Richard Dunlop, 2014
“When he said in the police examination that he would have sent his own father to his death if that had been required, he did not mean merely to stress the extent to which he was under orders, and ready to obey them; he also meant to show what an ‘idealist’ he had always been.” – Hannah Arendt, Eichmann and the Holocaust