Richard Dunlop extends the empirical accuracy of botanical illustration onto an unexpected scale, and into mysterious contexts. Figure and still life are sometimes fused with plant form. A fecundity of exotic shapes, strokes, and smudges hint at hidden meanings. Isolated objects journey across the picture plane as gently as leaves in an autumn breeze, or are alternatively located on a tenebrous ground.
There are delicious moments on the surface of Dunlop’s canvases, where organic references dissolve into a fusion of glazed colour shifts.
These are romantic works, that unlike pure abstract paintings are layered with secondary meanings. Earthy umbers ground them in the garden, yet their paint skin is informed by the more poetic moments of Lyrical Abstraction. Other paintings take a leaf, blades of grass, or a scattering of mixed botany and scale it up to huge proportion. Colour takes its cue from that inherent in the plant, yet readily moves outside the form creating a pathway around the composition.
Dunlop studied at the University of Queensland, and Griffith University where he recently completed a Doctorate of Visual Arts. He exhibits nationally and internationally and is represented in private and public collections throughout Australia and internationally
Richard is the winner of the 2014 Waterhouse Prize at the South Australian Museum. His next major solo exhibition will be held at James Makin Gallery in September, 2017.