John Dahlsen A contemporary environmental artist based in Bryon Bay.Dahlsen’s creative medium shifted from abstract painting to working as an environmental artist during the 1990’s. Dahlsen was collecting driftwood, on a remote Victorian coastline, with the intention of making furniture and stumbled upon vast amounts of plastic ocean debri.
Dahlsenintialcollection resulted in 80 jumbo garbage bags. He put them in piles; yellow coloured plastics, then the red, then the blues, then rope & strings, the plastic coke bottles, the thongs etc. Soon the floor of the studio did resemble a giant painters palate. This whole new palette of colour and shape revealing itself to Dahlsen; immediately affecting him; “I had never seen such hues and forms before which enabled me to make new environmental art”.
Since then Dahlsen has been scouring beaches looking for washed up ‘ocean litter’. The for the artist according to him “was to take these found objects, which might on first meeting have no apparent dialogue, and to work with them until they spoke and told their story, which included those underlying environmental messages inherent in the use of this kind of medium”. Challenge
For 20 years, Dahlsenhas been holding regular solo exhibitions of his work, both in capital cities, more recently in Melbourne at Australian Art Resources and in regional areas of Australia, including the Gold Coast City Art Gallery, the Coffs Harbour City Art Gallery, Grafton Regional Art Gallery and Tweed River Regional Art Gallery, as well as internationally, where he exhibited at the Australian Embassy in Washington D.C.
InDecember 2006 John was 2nd prizewinner in Australia's richest Art prize, "The Signature Of Sydney Prize". December 2007 saw John feature in an exhibition titled "Ecological Integrity: On the Brink" at the Ulster County Community College's Muroff-Kotler Visual Arts Gallery in New York.
Dahlsen’s assemblages and sculptures began in 1998. Diftwood
A selection of his work ‘Diftwood Art’ Recycled functional art created from driftwood collected from Australian beaches.
‘Rope Totem’ Abstract Recycled art created from rope and plastic collected from Australian beaches.
"ABSOLUT DAHLSEN" Unveiled at Sculpture by the Sea Bondi 2004
‘Blue River’ 2003 Created from recycled plastic bags
‘The Guardian’ is a public artwork which was made from recycled leftover road construction materials. It stands next to Story Bridge in Brisbane.
Dahlsen views that by making his art, it is a way of sharing his messages for the need to care for the environment with a broad audience. Dahlsen is sharing his artwork to to create a positive message about the that can be created from recycling and reusing products. “By presenting this art, to the public it will hopefully have people thinking about the deeper meaning of the work, in particular the environmental issues we currently face.” Beauty
To learn more…... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gf6vebog3Gc&feature=player_embedded http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qr-aB6WWUWU&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL
Further Considerations What distinguishes a piece of plastic washed up on the beach by time and water, from a work of art? Can art shift our thinking on matters ofenvironmental sustainability?
Reference List http://j-walkblog.com/old/images/driftwoodart.jpg http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gf6vebog3Gc&feature=player_embedded http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qr-aB6WWUWU&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL http://www.johndahlsen.com/index.html