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“Only when one is standing at exactly the right angle can you see and comprehend a new thing fully and for the first time.”Lao-Tzu 6th Century BC

“I have to record the glimpse seen at the highest point of affection – points of optical ecstasy, where romanticism and optimism overshadow any form of menace of foreboding. I have to paint pictures that have an effortless naturalness, not artificial or synthetic, not manufactured. I have to paint pictures that have no affectation through mental tricks, but are graceful and according to nature… Every part should be poetic and responsible for its own existence. It should be easy to take. I try to change the meaning of the thing painted into a new image – an elevated feeling.” – Brett Whiteley re ‘Lavender Bay’ paintings

While most of the risks Dunlop takes are well considered, some are quite the opposite. He describes 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 film.” The process, like his subject matter, is quite organic. Dunlop takes further risks by introducing random acts of violence to each work, and then attempts to resolve them, as would “occur in any natural settings.” Though, fittingly, he allows “earlier layers to persist…to give a sense of memories and the passage of time, just out of reach.” – Eric Nash, Curator

Your pictures give me energy in the morning.” – Adam Hudson, serial entrepreneur and philanthropist


“Virtuosic sense of place, of Tasmania… honestly, I don’t get how you do that.” – Stephen Lees

“The portrait of me by Richard Dunlop, Tim Olsen: The Man in Black, hung in the 2008 Archibald, was my Dorian Gray moment. Once a handsome young man, by then the sins, weaknesses and the decadence of my life were written all over my face, exposed in the most visited exhibition in Australia, for the whole world to see. It is the darkest, most lugubrious version of a beaten-up art dealer who has been poisoned by celebration. Expressing my amazement that it was hung at all to Edmund Capon, he replied: ‘It does have a certain likeness. He’s really captured you.’” Tim Olsen, Art Dealer, Sydney and New York, 2020

“Dunlop’s work here is very much about fragments [of North Tasmania] that seize his attention and there’s a lot of movement captured in them – birds drift across a distant estuary, a waterfall gushes and sprays. Parallel to this, Dunlop also captures some beautiful panoramic visions that literally stretch themselves out, long and thin. He’s not averse to working within the physical shape of a painting either – some works are impressively massive and feel as though they are dripping over the edges, while others are elegant wisps of colour that stretch into the distance. These long works are particularly engrossing – you literally have to turn your head to take them in – and when the realisation dawns that you’re likely doing just what the artist did when he made the work, a new appreciation of how well Dunlop shares his vision emerges.”Andrew Harper 2020

“Every time I go to create a new painting following a new train of thought, I realise that you have already explored it in images at least a decade beforehand.” – Anonymity preferred, correspondence from prominent Sydney artist

“It reminds us of some of the infinitely complex and subtle things that go into the art of painting… In fact, a painter looks at the world but no more copies it than a novelist or a filmmaker does. Even when a particular site is the subject of a landscape, or a set of objects on a table the basis of a still life, the painter has to translate elusive and changeable visual data., and even more importantly the intangible presence latent in what is seen, into objects of an entirely different order, composed of layers of pigments that must be brought into harmonious relations with each other; and these painted artificial forms must be subordinated to the abstract geometry of the picture plane and the frame.” – Sound advice from Christopher Allen, Art Commentator

“When I noticed that there were actually very few landscape paintings made about Queensland or North Tasmania, two places I dearly love, I decided some time ago to fill the void.” – RD 2020

“A compelling painter of light, the movement and moments of weather and terrain.” – Trudi Curtis, Art Dealer

Painted Collage

“Collage is a new element within Dunlop’s oeuvre. The artist has created large paintings that incorporate collaged reproductions of nineteenth century botanical illustrations. These re glued down to a plywood substrate, torn edges and meeting points between the sheets marking out a haphazard grid, and forming a tacit homage to one of Dunlop’s most admired artists, Ian Fairweather, who used sheets of cardboard abutted against each other as a painting surface. Over these paper records of old world/ new world discovery and exploration, Dunlop has applied his characteristic swathes of colour in broad brushstrokes, where meandering linear marks flow through the compositions to unite the disparate elements contained within.” – Marguerite Brown Curator MFA

“Collages take you more directly to the hand of the artist and deeper emotions of the hand-made and modesty of means.” – Advice from Mark Bradford

“If you are prepared to enter the microworld of one of Dunlop’s paintings they are worth the experiential journey, unlike a body of pictures being made by anyone else today.” – Evelyn Prusenhauer


“[Dunlop] is emphatic in the fact that his sole goal is to put something beautiful in the world; something that was not there before.”Frances Vinall, 2019

“Dunlop’s imagery has an unusual feeling. He is not simply painting a landscape, but cracking it open, his eye swimming in to find the specific components, and how they are constructed. There is a sense that Dunlop is pulling things apart with his work, fragmenting and reforming to understand what it is that he sees.”Andrew Harper, 2019

“We do not find many cases of artists trying to rebuild a language for representing the world, in particular through the primary media of drawing and painting.” – Christopher Allen 2019

“Each painting asks its own set of questions.” – Cecily Brown 2019

“The Great Western Tiers (including Cradle Mountain and the Highlands Lakes District) is a wilderness area of Tasmania, adjacent to Deloraine where Richard Dunlop now lives. It is mostly world heritage listed, as it should be, being some of most pristine territory remaining on earth, and hard-fought to keep that state. There, Dunlop experiments with perspective, often conjuring a ‘floating’ interior which allows the picture plane, like language to open into ambiguous space, and allows the viewer to vicariously enter the work.” – Tattersalls Prize 2019


“Much of Dunlop’s work is an inquiry into the human need for order and control, and escaping into his fictive worlds – which only seek to assume a sense of reality, and in doing so, transcend it – they can act as a circuit breaker for the viewer so that they may instead see the interconnectedness of things; not only of art traditions to each other, but also of person to place, culture to nature, the finite to the infinite, and memory to experience.” – Eric Nash, 2018

“Like Fairweather, Dunlop is attracted to Eastern philosophy, particularly the Taoist vision of the intertwined relationship between nature and man, heaven and earth. For me, Dunlop’s work is spiritual although he’s a practical fellow who expresses no spiritual aspiration in conversation. He allows the viewer to add layers of meaning and I cannot help but regard his work as inherently spiritual. That spirituality is encapsulated in his vision of the life force that flows through everything. Dylan Thomas wrote about that in his poem The Force that Through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower. That force, wrote Thomas, “drives my green age”. I cannot look at the complex botanical works of Dunlop without thinking of those lines and that “green age”.” – Phil Brown, 2018

“All a poet can do is warn. Art is an exceedingly slow but very effective long-term means of communication across a century or more.”Wilfred Owen, 1918

“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 these watchwords, he chooses invocation.” – Dr Jonathon McBurnie, Director Perc Tucker Regional Gallery 2018

“A highly original voice in Australian art destined to be blue-chip.”Steve Cohen, art collector, USA, 2018

“One of our finest contemporary poets, pictures a bonus.” – Les Murray 

Fluidity, somewhat counter-intuitively, is best described as the rolling of discrete particles over one another, commensurate with external pressure. A Northern Survey by Richard Dunlop is so formed, a tumbling of concerns of, and the congealed wisdom of the history of painters who have gone before, attempting to express the same thing. Dunlop interprets the tangle of mangrove roots, the gloom of silty undercurrents and the briny, languorous oaths of inlet fish in thin layers of oil that vary in transparency and explicitness of brushwork. “Oil paint is characteristically liquid” says Dunlop.Sheridan Hart

Reef Paintings 2007+

“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

“The reef series presents Dunlop with a whole new set of challenges, most evidently the treatment of light, and the possibilities of landscapes that don’t simply stretch to a horizon but also extend above and below. Undoubtedly attracted to the challenge, Dunlop acknowledges the reef as a relatively untouched landscape subject offering a subject to play around with depth and space and multi-perspectives of levitating fish. Dunlop employs translucent films of colour, juxtaposed and intermingled with more defined marine life forms, to handsomely approximate the underwater dance of light – a shadow play in which depth perception in every direction is disarmingly distorted, and solid edges are constantly flickering and shifting with refractions triggered by every movement of both form and ocean.” Eric Nash Curator


“When you paint something it becomes a fact.” – Peter Doig

“Some entirely different weather pattern of climate change altogether has appeared in North Queensland, which has copped more than a battering lately. At the moment, it’s being called Cyclone Debbie.” – ABC News, 2017

When people ask me how does it feel to be always near the eye of the storm, I think to myself that they don’t get it, because you to any fair person they would acknowledge that I am the Storm.” – Donald Trump, climate change denier, elected President of the Free World January 2017