Friday, April 27, 2012

Richard Dunlop; Ghost Net basketry.

I took a stroll into the valley the other day to see the latest exhibition  at the Jan Murphy gallery. Richard Dunlop has his new works up and they are wonderful...full rich luscious colours against  dark black voids. The works are large and exciting and his glazing technique employed throughout the exhibition recalls the old masters. The subject matter is varied..from violins to fish to flowers, but there is a sense of the old vanitas theme running thoughout ...this is especially evident with the smaller works of the hanging birds..the birds are cropped out of the picture frame for a contemporary take on the subject, but death and finality are overwhelming. Some of the other works such as Reef Arrangement recall early natural history investigations...collection, selection, display. It also raises the environmental question of how soon will the 'mundane' flora/fauna of our times be objects for modern Wunderkammer, the ornate display cabinets housing curios of scientific and natural history enquiry.
Richard Dunlop

Richard Dunlop
Further along Brunswick street, I dropped into Artisan to have a look at the exhibition "The Long Tide"...Ghost net basketry made by 22 indigenous communities in the north of Australia.
Aly de Groot, Basket grouping, 2011.(from Artisan website)

Last year we were at the Laura indigenous dance festival, and many of the local peoples there were also utilizing marine fishing debris to make a wonderful mural as a backdrop to one of their stands.
Ghost nets are huge floating nets which have been abandoned by the original users; these nets become entangled with each other, and carry on their task of "fishing" with horrendous results on marine fauna.

On a final note closer to home, I tried to reduce the fussiness of my latest painting..not a great photo with flash bouncing off the wet paint.

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