“The Perfumed Garden is a lush and almost mystical work that has layers of paint and layers of meaning. His paintings are not literal. They are composites constructed through memory and are imbued with love.” – Phil Brown
“If there is a thread that unites Dunlop’s work regardless of subject, it is the awareness he brings of things that lie outside the realm of tangible matter, such as energy and spirit. This is reflected in the multi-dimensional quality to his work that is both aesthetic and conceptual. Dunlop is often credited with is hybridisation of established genres such as still life, landscape and botanical art, as he borrows conventions freely from each and merges them into a new painterly paradigm within the edges of the canvas. The merging of recognisable imagery from these genres with ambiguous forms, areas of abstraction and multiple perspectives is analogous to the impression of an experience, and the many ways it is absorbed through the mind and body.” – Marguerite Brown, Curator MFA
NB: The images of works that form this series are incomplete
Images coming soon.
‘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.
“Powerfully, even poignantly themselves as these objects may be – utterly present as phenomena of the known world – they seem endowed at the same time with the status of emissaries from another more ‘real’ one, which we recognise but could not name. It is in this sense that they might be said to approach the sublime. But to put it in those terms we must intend by “sublime” what lies mysteriously beyond the limits, beyond the threshold of what we can grasp, of where we have actually been – though not where, in moments of delight and enlightenment, the awakened spirit may take us.” – David Malouf, Being There, 2015 (quoted with the kind permission of the author, 2015)
“His luminous botanical paintings juxtapose then meld the traditions of both East and West to present us with an overwhelming fecundity of nature’s beauty. This master of seduction plays at the intersection of conventions of poetry, landscape and still life to create a luminal space for the imagination. This allows the viewer to invest Dunlop’s works with his or her own interpretations of life, death and immortality.” – Dr Christine Dauber, University of Queensland, 2015
“Richard Dunlop has had a successful career as a contemporary artist for a sustained period of more than twenty years. In this time, he has been at the forefront of painting’s resurgence in popularity and appeal, and has never been shy of breaking with established art conventions, such as his blending of elements from botanical illustration with still life and landscape traditions.” – Eric Nash, Perc Tucker Gallery 2015
“It sometimes haunts younger artists when you tell them that in the 444 days that van Gogh spent in Arles before he committed suicide at 37, and where he cut off part of his ear, he did 200 paintings, 200 watercolours and wrote 200 letters in three languages… especially when you ask them what they’ve been doing in the last fifteen months.” – Elwynn Lynn, September 14 1985
“He is one of the few Australian painters whose work it is actually worth standing in front of for more than a few seconds, in order to decipher the processes that put it together, the artistic judgements and intuitions that are to be seen in the sudden decision to use a particular dab of colour or correct a stream of falling paint.” – Sound advice on how to look at a painting by Rex Butler, referring to Ian Fairweather
“Dunlop understands that completely lifting his thoughts on any overtly political or moralistic issues would undermine their power, inhibit the sheer joy of seeing how he can make paint dance, flow and achieve enviable luminosity. Herein lies the genius, as it is the joy of viewing the painting that enables escapism. It creates a prolonged engagement for the audience to view his paintings with the sensitivity and consideration with which they were crafted.” – Eric Nash Curator CCP
“Painting is not something that must be understood. If the picture is for you, it will produce an almost physical sensation, something of joy, of wonder – a tug to the gut. Don’t go trying to understand it. Don’t expect the painter to stand and deliver his innermost convictions in other than his work.” – Ian Fairweather
“Much of the beauty of the art of painting…lies in the microstructure of the brush marks themselves, the evident thinking and feeling in the way the artist has negotiated forms, transitions and edges.” – Christopher Allen
“Dunlop’s is a refreshing approach to painting [and its intersection with photography], an authenticity of vision and voice that has allowed him to resist fashions and trends, periods and fads, orthodoxy and conformity – all trappings of the current gallery dynamic which sees many curators follow a proven style of the period rather than taking significant and consistent risks to present new ideas.” – Eric Nash Curator, Centre for Contemporary Photography
“Unlike forms of rational discourse, art conveys meaning by reshaping the world and presenting it to us in a new form. We apprehend this reshaped world with the same combination of senses, imagination and intellect that we use to perceive the real world.” – Christopher Allen
This series was completed from photographs taken at Dunedin’s Natural History Collection, New Zealand. It is a unique collection well worth visiting.
Note: These can be viewed like film stills accompanied by a few minutes of music.