2010

“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