2008

Richard Dunlop, is at heart, a well-travelled rebel. This is best reflected in his art practice as he believes “the act of making paintings involves balancing risk-taking with experience”. While most of the risks Dunlop takes are well-considered, some are quite the opposite. He describes studio painting as “an arena almost like a boxing ring… I don’t do preparatory drawings and the final paintings carry some signs of decisions made en route, erasures and changes of mind, remnants of under-painting all add to the archaeology of a picture, an artificial thing like a novel or a film.  In the mid-1980’s when I started blurring the interrupted traditions of botanical illustration, landscape and still life with the then moribund tradition of painting, no-one else was doing it because every element of it was downright taboo, collectively almost heretical, and as such, irresistible.” – Eric Nash (interview with the artist), 2008

“Dunlop interprets the tangle of mangrove roots, the gloom of silty undercurrents and the briny, languorous paths of inlet fish in thin layers of oil that vary in transparency and explicitness of brushwork. In Rainforest and Mangrove (After Fairweather) (both 2008), plant and water forms are elaborated across the painting’s surface, abandoning the logic of a perspectival scene for a meandering brocade of natural forms. Dunlop is conscious of the historical weight of painting yet also believes in an essential spontaneity in the studio.” – Dr Sheridan Coleman, 2018