Art Business

Artist’s statements

I remember in one of my first exhibitions after I got out of art school, I made work with complicated theory, which was reflected in the work in a number of ways that was not very clear to the viewing public. For example many of the artworks were hanging off the wall in very strange angles. They were very odd shapes for canvases and works on paper, however it was not explained in any way that the public could fully understand it.

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Artist Statement 2 on creating websites

I want to explain here, that expense and complication doesn’t have to be the case. I’m now going to teach you in the following explanation, how to set up what is known as a blog.
A blog is essentially a website. On the Internet these days, it is very easy to find blog sites that are free. One such site, which is owned by Google is called
There is also another one called, which is also a great blog facility. Follow these easy steps to set up your own site. Simply follow the prompts, which are as follows:

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Artist Statement 1 on Creating Products

If you document your lecture or your public speaking engagement you’ll be doing a few things at once. Firstly you will be creating an archive, which is irreplaceable. This archive can be converted into a DVD in a reasonably simple manner at your own computer. This DVD once produced, can then be either sold at future speaking engagements or through your website. I can’t stress enough how important it is.

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Interviews about John Dahlsen’s Environmental Artwork 7

John Dahlsen is an Australian found object sculptor.

After a 1983 fire destroyed most of his work, he took time to reflect on his career. While searching a beach for driftwood, he discovered what would turn out to be his most intriguing form of working material. ??Appalled at the amount of trash he encountered, he gathered over eighty bags of washed up garbage, returned to his studio and began a new chapter in his career.
Dahlsen refers to his found object sculptures as “environmental art.” These pieces display a wide range of forms, such as ten foot totems made of old sandals or pieces of plastic detritus sorted by colour and shape mounted between sheets of Plexiglas.

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Interviews about John Dahlsen’s Environmental Artwork 6

When he first started, he stumbled upon vast amounts of plastic ocean debris, collecting them in 80 jumbo garden bags full of beach-found litter. “When I first piled this collection up in my studio, I had friends drop by asking if I was okay!” he adds.
John didn’t see a giant mound of trash – rather, his unseen intelligence was at work. He saw a giant painter’s palate of colours and shapes, hues and forms: selections of yellow coloured plastics, the red, then the blues, the rope and strings, the plastic coke bottles, the thongs… the list goes on.
“As I worked with these objects, I became even more fascinated by the way they had been modified and weathered by the ocean and nature’s elements,” says Mr Dahlsen.

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Interviews about John Dahlsen’s Environmental Artwork 4

Initially, Dahlsen was responding to an instinct to clean the beach as he wandered along, but his tidy-ups triggered more than a sense of satisfaction:

“I was amazed at how pristine the beaches looked each time I left a location, but it was also during this collecting time that I became more intrigued by what nature had done to the plastics,” he says.

Once his loot arrived home, the artist set about creating his first environmental work, a semi-abstract “landscape” made from abandoned plastic objects assembled behind perspex.

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Interviews about John Dahlsen’s Environmental Artwork 3

While John’s art practice changes and evolves, his underlying commitment, as an artist has never wavered. He has always been motivated by a professional duty to be aware of and express current social, spiritual and environmental concerns through his art practice.

The central concerns of his work are with contemporary art practice. He has for many years been working with found and recycled objects, most hand-picked from somewhere along the Australian Coastline.

“The unabated dumping of thousands of tons of plastics has been expressed in my assemblages, installations, totems, digital prints and public artworks.

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Interviews about John Dahlsen’s Environmental Artwork 1

Found Object Art:??Using other objects that are found and recycled, John creates commissioned pieces for cities, parks and businesses. The objects differ depending upon what John finds and could range from recycled surfboards to concrete and metal. Below are examples of those commissioned pieces.??The first, entitled ‘The Guardian’ is made from scraps of steel guardrails and concrete pipe. The second, entitled ‘Convention Centre Jewell Sculpture’ is created from found objects such as fibre optics and stainless steel.

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Art Commissions 5

This piece will act as a celebration of roads and the city infrastructures. Historically, public art has been employed to soften the ‘blow’ of a city’s infrastructure and the predominance of tough and durable structures and the masculine elements of engineering.

The intention, as I see it, of this totemic structure is not to try and soften any image of roads and traffic, but to bring it to an artistic conclusion, where the artwork meets the challenges of its surroundings, reinterpreting it and not trying to digress from the very nature of roads, traffic and engineering with a contrasting message.

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Art Commissions 4

My aim is that this piece will create a sense of community ownership, whether amused, grateful bewildered or confronted, most will appreciate that the towns engineers and planners have made a serious effort, to install artwork between a major thoroughfare and an inner city community.

Similarly I am sure the local community will appreciate the artwork as its own by the very nature of its proximity to it and relate to its artistic and environmental message.

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See John Dahlsen’s Recent Works

Environmental Art by John Dahlsen


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