It is important to be open to surprises, and they always keep coming. Teaching others about the importance of the environment through delivering more lectures about my art in public speaking engagements does interest myself, particularly as you can see from my web site that I have been a very prolific artist over the years, and I have lots to share in my lectures where I show many visuals of my work. I think this will go hand in hand with creating new work, as I’m also really enjoying the possibilities I see in my re-entry into painting and making sculptures. These all excite me to no end at the moment.

As I mentioned, I remember saying in interviews with the media during the late 90’s, that I hoped that one day I would see less and less litter washing up on our beaches, so that quite naturally my work would find a new direction. This has now happened – on a local level at least.  The situation on a global level has worsened considerably.

After more than 10 years of collecting beach found objects and subsequently making art out of them, I’ve naturally come now to a new form of expression, which was brought on significantly as a result of the decrease in litter either washing up or being left behind on our beaches, as well as a result of my purge painting series and exploration.

Painting the Byron Bay local seascapes and landscapes, mostly images seen by me on my daily walk around the lighthouse and beaches, are painted somewhat with a sense of urgency, due to my ever growing concerns about global warming and its impact. These works on Belgian linen are a major component of my exhibition in Beijing.

The viewer can see these works have a certain unmistakable mood within each piece, which has been written about by Dr Jacqueline Millner from the University of Western Sydney: “This play between abstraction and figuration, between synthetic/organic matter and immateriality in the purge paintings, has been applied in Dahlsen’s most recent works to landscapes — dark works whose subtle references to environmental degradation all but disappear before forcefully catching you unawares.

This tension between inorganic abstraction and emotionally charged organism lends these works particular resonance, given their inception in the politics of environmental art. They play out, in elegant and economical aesthetics, the unstable boundaries between the natural and the artificial, reminding us of Wendell Berry’s paradox that ‘the only thing we have to preserve nature with is culture; the only thing we have to preserve wildness with is domesticity’

In the immediate future, as mentioned, I’m exhibiting a major series of paintings, prints and sculptures in Beijing, from the 18th September to the 6th October 2010 at the Hanmo Art Gallery in the “798” Contemporary Art Region.

Apart from the above, I am also in the process of writing 2 books. One of these is on Environmental Art and on my own work in particular, which will come with many colour plates of the work. It will be titled, “The Environmental Art of John Dahlsen” and the other is a more practical guide for those in the arts. This second book is called “Artist’s Business and Career Strategies.” In this book I have compiled the most pressing issues and answered the most common questions faced by artists and those involved with the arts, from an insiders viewpoint.

I feel much more in the service of people now and I see this as a growing phenomenon. My vision is shaped more around being in the service of people and humanity as a whole. I am enjoying my role as a mediator between nature and humans, expressing universal truths in my work and inspiring viewers as much as I am able.

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