Public art projects, commissions and artist profile:

Below are a selection of activities which have seen John involved in major awards or prominent public art projects both within Australia and internationally. Some of these activities Include:

Commonwealth Bank Commission Sydney
March 2011 saw John 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.

USA Public Art and Artist in Residence
In September 2005, John Dahlsen was the artist in residence as a guest of Jefferson City in Missouri USA. Here he made a series of installations forming a public artwork, made from recycled plastic bags, which were donated by the people of Jefferson City. This series of works were exhibited as part of the Art In The Park Exhibition run by Atelier CMS inc. from Jefferson City. At the opening ceremony, which was attended by Bob and Lori Hauser Holden, Governor and first Lady State of Missouri 2001 - 2005, and Senator Carl M Vogel, along with the other exhibiting artists and other distinguished guests, Dahlsen delivered a speech, addressing the importance of public art in the built environment and the need for a percentage of public spending on government buildings to be earmarked for public artworks.

Dahlsen then went on to donate his series of sculptural installations to Jefferson City for their contemporary art collection, which he said would hopefully be housed soon, in a purpose built contemporary art space, which he noted Jefferson City urgently needed.

Wynne Prize winner
In 2000 John was a successful finalist in submitting his series of "Thong Totems". He went on to win the prestigious Wynne Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales Australia. This installation was the third only sculpture to win the prize in its 100 year history. The Wynne Prize is Australia's oldest art award. In 2003 John was once again a finalist in the Wynne prize with his work “Blue River”, made from recycled plastic bags and again was a finalist in 2004 with his Driftwood assemblage #1.

* Official Artist - Clean Up Australia / Clean Up The World
John Dahlsen was appointed by Ian Kiernan AO, Chairman of Clean up Australia to be the Official Artist of the New Millennium for the Environmental organisations Clean Up Australia and Clean Up the World. This involved a significant media profile to promote each organisation's activities as well as
John's unique approach to recycling and carrying the environmental message in his artwork.

* The United Nations Headquarters in New York
The U.N. project, initiated through John's involvement with the Clean up the World organisation, was to incorporate many of the participating nations in the annual clean up program, sending shoe boxes full of plastics to John's studio, where he was to assemble a multi coloured artwork (mimicking the multi-coloured flags of the world). The artwork involved world wide participation and was to be installed at the entrance of the United Nations Headquarters. Due to more recent events in the USA, this project has been awaiting further development.

* The Powerhouse Museum, Sydney
The Powerhouse Museum commissioned John to create 2 major works, which are now featured in a semi-permanent exhibition at the Museum. Called; Eco- Logic, the exhibition showcases ecologically sustainable practices. John also presented a proposal for a public outdoor sculpture for the entrance to the Powerhouse Museum, which was enthusiastically received by the Powerhouse Museum Board.
* The Rialto Centre, Manly Sydney
John was shortlisted with 3 other artists to install a $175,000 public art sculpture.

* The Belongil Commission,
A privately funded sculpture commission is located in an exclusive ocean front development in Byron Bay Australia.

* Privately funded sculptural projects
John also developed two in-depth proposals for major, privately funded, sculptural
projects both located in the Northern New South Wales region. The first being at the new S.A.E. School of
Audio Engineering, multi-media world headquarters.
Secondly at the Broken Head Coastal Foundation's Eco- Educational resort facility, being developed
by the renowned environmental architect Phil McMaster.

* Public Artwork for Byron Bay
John created a fundraising "Barometer" public art work for the Byron Bay Community Centre in 2000.

* The Brisbane Entertainment and Convention Centre.
John was selected for initial negotiations to make a public art sculpture for the foyer of the Brisbane Entertainment
and Convention Centre for the Architects; Minale/Bryce and Partners (Brisbane) and the board of the Convention centre.

* Public artwork for Coffs Harbour City Council, North Coast of NSW.
John was one of three shortlisted artists who worked on the submission of designs for public artworks in Coffs Harbour.

* Florence Biennial of Contemporary Art.
John was selected to exhibit at the 2003 Florence Biennial of Contemporary Art in Italy in December and came away with a prestigious award in the Mixed Media/New Media section.

* Public Art in Queensland.
A major public art work was unveiled in Brisbane. Titled "The Guardian", This 10.5 metre high
sculpture made from recycled materials, has been enthusiastically embraced by the Brisbane community.

* Shortlisted For Public Art Projects in the USA
John has also been short listed for two public art projects in both Washington DC and at a university in Iowa.

* Absolut Dahlsen
John successfully negotiated with the company representing Absolut Vodka, who commissioned him to
make a large sculpture/Installation based on the Absolut campaign .John joins such renowned artists as Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Francesco Clemente and Damien Hirst, who have been commissioned to create artworks by ABSOLUT of Sweden. He exhibited this work at the 2004 Sculpture By the Sea Exhibition in Sydney.

This sculpture is now on semi permanent loan to the Gold Coast City Art Gallery Queensland Australia

* Visy
John also had negotiations with the chairman of the Visy corporation to make a series of totemic recycled artworks
for both the exterior and wallworks for the interior foyers, of the Visy factories Australia wide.

Public Art Interview


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