In his latest exhibition, dreams, Patrick Dagg continues his exploration of symbols, stand-ins and marks as a personal, codified language to discuss themes of death, love, and memory. Sourcing images from cinema, art history, design, and everyday life, the exhibition enacts a state of remembrance that draws upon the subconscious dreamscape.
Dagg’s work has long challenged the medium of painting and the bounds of printmaking, and the hierarchies of class and art history that they represent. Continuing this, in dreams Dagg has introduced the utility of the silkscreen for the first time. This is a medium that has long subverted the hierarchical dominance of painting and ‘traditional’ art forms with its ability for reproduction fostering new, limitless avenues for creative expression.
The artist’s use of collage similarly confronts the static, singular nature of traditional painting. Dagg draws on source material varying from old-world still-lifes, film stills, and even pop-up ads. These images act as visual metaphors that reference and unpack the ongoing states of grief, anxiety and joy that are embedded not just in everyday life, but in a broader societal decline. This imagery, along with words plucked from songs that hold personal sentiment, merges with handmade marks and spray cans to create a tension that embodies the physical and mental state. Dagg’s collaged components fall out of their original context, forming new ones upon the canvas. The artist explains this process as a vehicle to “eliminate conscious aesthetics,” whereby the canvas is transformed into a subliminal dream-world upon which themes of love, death and memory percolate.
“I’m keen to explore the difference between intentional and accidental mark making, using certain processes of painting to eliminate conscious aesthetics.”
“I want this work to be more intentional in its content. Being able to unlock representational forms and objects has opened me up to really embed my work with personality and form.”
Patrick Dagg was a finalist in the Footscray Art Prize 2019 and a finalist in the Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize in 2018. Through partnership with Flack Studios, he has exhibited as a part of the Rigg design prize in 2019 and The Art of Dining in 2019 at the National Gallery of Victoria. In 2014 he was awarded the Douglas Gordan Fellowship. Dagg’s work is held in private collections nationally and internationally. Most recently he was featured in Vault magazine’s ‘Forecast’ as an artist to watch.