Byron Bay artist John Dahlsen’s latest paintings have been given the seal of approval by the Art Gallery of NSW, with his painting Light Blue Purge Painting 2006, pictured, having been selected as a finalist in the Sulman Award, currently showing alongside the Archibald and the Wynne prizes.

Dahlsen won the Wynne prize in 2000. During the latter part of 2005 and into 2006, Dahlsen created a new body of work, a series of paintings on canvas and Belgian linen, based on the subject matter of plastic ‘purges’.

Dahlsen said of the new work: ‘The direction in this work which also incorporates sculpture and assemblage, is a natural evolution for me and further consolidates my return to painting, which was my main medium for 17 years, prior to working for over eight years with found objects, based upon environmental themes.’

Having only just returned from Europe, Dahlsen noted, ‘Through my ongoing association with Austrade, I was introduced to gallery directors in Berlin, Frankfurt and Amsterdam and the response to my new work has been amazing, with many projects in discussion and under way. Having such positive response really makes the transition so much easier, from being the artist who for a while exclusively worked with beach found objects into being a painter again.’

Dahlsen exhibited two artworks in an exhibition at the Lismore Regional Gallery ‘Oceans 11’, a group exhibition of north coast artists responding to the theme of the ocean and living near the ocean. He was also again on show at the Lismore Regional Gallery with the exhibition ‘Collections Northern Rivers’, which opened on April 28 and continued to May 31 2006.

The Archibald, Sulman and Wynne prizes will be on exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW in Sydney until May 28.


“Light Blue Purge Painting”
Acrylic on Belgian linen.

Finalist Sulman Prize
Art Gallery of NSW 2006