Dr. John Dahlsen Artist Statement 2018

//Dr. John Dahlsen Artist Statement 2018

This environmental artwork is multi-disciplined, incorporating sculpture, assemblage, installation and painting, which was my main medium prior to working for over twenty years with found objects, mainly beach found plastic litter. Thematically based on environmental issues, taking society’s discarded everyday objects and transforming them into formal compositions.

The completion of a PhD at Charles Darwin University in 2016 happened alongside lecturing in visual art. Two manuscripts were also published during this time – a mid-career memoir and a book titled ‘An artist’s guide to business and career success’. As a public speaker and educator there is a passion about developing support for marginalised artists who are largely marginalised by the art industry and by society during tough economic times. In 2017 a position was taken up lecturing at the University of Canberra, Southbank campus in Brisbane.

Part of the evolvement of the visual language of this environmental art saw development of works using recycled plastic bags as the primary medium. “Blue River” is one of the most well known works using this medium. This work was a finalist in the 2003 Wynne prize at the Art Gallery of NSW Australia. The recycled plastic bag artwork is a departure from the more recognizable assemblage works in which plastics were used and other detritus collected from the Eastern seaboard, “Thong Totems” which won the Wynne Prize in 2000 being a good example.

With this recycled plastic bag work, apart from wishing to express obvious environmental messages, there is a particular interest in the brilliance of the colours and textures available in working with this medium.

There has been a longstanding engagement and exploration of the coastal landscape with this creativity, examining the passage of time in the landscape and the place of humankind within it. The landscapes featured in this work are the very same places that have been roamed over the years and where collected detritus and materials for the assemblages and other works has been done. Recycled materials have been used to convey the history and memory of a place, to comment on the human experience of place, beauty, degradation of the environment and the inspiration possible with recycling through a positive aesthetic experience.

This artwork represents core elements of a longstanding engagement and exploration of the coastal and oceanic landscape which examines the passage of time in the landscape and the place of humankind within it. Ocean litter plastics have been used to convey artistically the contemporary mapping of the Pacific Gyre Garbage Patch, commenting on the human experience of place, beauty, degradation of the environment and the inspiration possible with recycling through a positive aesthetic experience.

This artwork represents core elements of a longstanding engagement and exploration of the coastal and oceanic landscape. Ocean litter plastics have been used to convey artistically the contemporary mapping of the Pacific Gyre Garbage Patch, commenting on the human experience of place, beauty, degradation of the environment and the inspiration possible with recycling through a positive aesthetic experience.

Ocean litter plastics have been used to convey artistically the contemporary mapping of the Pacific Gyre Garbage Patch, commenting on the human experience of place, beauty, degradation of the environment and the inspiration possible with recycling through a positive aesthetic experience.
Ocean litter plastics are used to convey artistically the contemporary mapping of the Pacific Garbage Patch, commenting on the human experience of place, beauty, degradation of the environment and the inspiration possible with recycling through a positive aesthetic experience.

2018-10-24T00:01:45+00:00

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