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About John

John Dahlsen Artist and Public Speaker
John Dahlsen Artist and Public Speaker

John Dahlsen is an environmental artist, public speaker and author on the multi dimensional aspects of inner and outer wealth creation for artists. He lives in Australia.

He studied in Melbourne at the Victorian College of the Arts and at the Melbourne College of Advanced Education.

He won Australia’s oldest art award, the prestigious Wynne Prize, at the Art Gallery of NSW in 2000 and was again a finalist in 2003 and 2004. In 2006 he was a finalist in the Sulman Award at the Art Gallery of NSW.

John has lectured at various universities and secondary schools from 1980 – 2013. He has been an invited speaker at architectural and environmental symposiums in Australia and internationally, including at the Australian Embassy in Washington DC, which coincided with an exhibition of his work there in 1999.

For well over 25 years he has had regular solo and group exhibitions in Australia, in both commercial and regional galleries and internationally, in USA and Europe, where he is also represented in major public and private collections.

In August 2004, Dahlsen represented Australia at the Athens Olympics of Visual Arts and in October 2004, he became the first Australian artist, (he joins such renowned artists as Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Francesco Clemente and Damien Hirst) to be commissioned by global vodka producer Absolut, to create a major public artwork “Absolut Dahlsen”, which was unveiled at Sculpture by the Sea, 2004.

John’s art has been written about in major Australian and international newspapers. His work has been featured in many magazines and in international art publications. Television includes coverage on all Australian channels and many international programmes.

John was successfully commissioned to create the public artwork titled “The Guardian” situated at the gateway to Story Bridge at Kangaroo Point by The Brisbane City Council, in 2003.

He had a major solo exhibition of his work at the Tweed Regional Art Gallery in February 2005 and his sculpture “Pink Shard” made from fused toughened glass panels with a plastic interlayer bearing image won him another award, at the 2005 Thursday Plantation East Coast Sculpture Show. During June 2006 he had a solo exhibition at parliament house in Sydney.

Later in 2005, he curated as well as participated in an exhibition at the Samuel Dorsky Museum, in New York State in the USA; he also took up an artist in residence position in Jefferson City Missouri, USA in September 2005, where he made a public artwork for their sculpture walk.

In December 2006, John was awarded the runner up prize in Australia’s newest, and now the richest art award, The Signature of Sydney Art Prize.

In November/December 2007 John’s work was exhibited in New York in an exhibition titled “Ecological Integrity / On The Brink”
John exhibited his work in Connecticut USA in March 2008. He was an invited guest of the North Stonington Education Foundation, to work with students and to deliver a lecture at Mystic Aquarium and Institute for Exploration Mystic Connecticut USA.

In September 2008 he exhibited at the Jenolan Caves Trust NSW, in the “Treasures of Seeds” Exhibition. Supporting the Global Crop Diversity Trust. He was also featured in the exhibition “Revivication” Plastics at the Rushcutters Bay Gallery Sydney in late 2008.
His work featured in the CSIRO Exhibition in Canberra Treasure of Seeds in August 2009.
He exhibited in the USA in late 2009 at Gallery 705 in Stroudsberg Pennsylvania and at the Southwest Minnesota State University Art Museum in 2010.

John is represented by major public and private collections across Australia, he is also in many International collections in Europe, USA and Japan.

He and his art has been written about in all the major newspapers and many magazines in the form of critiques and as articles and pictorials. Radio, television and the internet, frequently interview him about exhibitions and his work as a contemporary environmental artist.

John was awarded in 2009, the Swell Sculpture Exhibition “Environmental Art Award”, Currumbin, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia. He went on to win this prize again in September 2010.

In July 2010, he won the Peoples Choice Award in the ArtsCape Biennial Sculpture Exhibition. Byron Bay, NSW Australia for his sculpture: “Monumental Environmental Artwork” which he made from a recycled Camphor Laurel tree root ball and trunk.

In September 2010 John’s work featured at the famed “Hanmo Gallery” in Beijing’s 798 contemporary art district in China.

March 2011 saw John being commissioned by the Commonwealth Bank to create a major sculpture for their new HQ, from objects collected from the annual Clean up Australia campaign in Sydney.

John was appointed ” Cultural Ambassador” for Friends of the United Nations, on World Environment Day June 6th 2011.

He was invited in 2012 by the United Nations to write an essay for the Rio+20 conference. Dahlsen’s essay, titled “The Future we want” appears on the UN website for the Rio+20 conference. And can be seen here:

In 2013 John accepted a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD Candidature) at the Charles Darwin University in Darwin, the Northern Territory, Australia.

See all of John Dahlsen’s environmental art


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