Janet Dawson

Survey

17 April - 19 May 2018

This year marks 50 years since The Field 1968, an exhibition in which JANET DAWSON, a leading abstract and figurative painter, was one of only three female artists selected to take part. And as the National Gallery marks this milestone with The Field Revisited it seems fitting to survey the resonate work of DAWSON.

Heralding the survey, Shadows no.2 (1974) is hard to resist. It is magnetic in the way that it pulses with DAWSON’s adept colour play, creating depth and optical movement.

The significant shifts of focus and examination in the subject matter of DAWSON’s work over the last forty-six years parallel her life in the bush. Shadow Play no.2 was created the same year as her initial move from the city to ‘Scribble Rock’ near Binalong in 1974. Living within nature, as Deborah Edward’s outlines, scintillated DAWSON’s vision and through this spatial ambiguity embraced more fertile metaphoric ground.[i] For DAWSON her expansive colour paintings mapped her responses to the bush – such as the spiralling bark in opposition to the form of the gums – noting that what she perceived in nature reinforced the ways in which she had explored oppositional relationships of form, space, and light.

Moving in leaps and bounds we reach DAWSON’s work from the nineties and what occupies her eye in the present. Her smaller still life and landscapes continue her exploration of the processes of perception. Created after DAWSON moved to a small cottage in nearby Binalong, her pastel works explored the shift in scale and proportion of the trees. This ongoing desire to explore and expose the resonance of a place emerges in her most recent works of the coastal landscape and skies in Southern Victoria where she now lives.

Whether figurative or abstract, DAWSON’s focus is to enquire and deconstruct the world around her. What was once a cabbage or an eggshell is evaluated by DAWSON and reconstructed. Cut-half Green Cabbage with Leaves I showcases a luminous cabbage on its paper stage. Boldly lit up from the swirling darkness it is supported by a chorus of dancing lines that resonate with the surrounding energy as perceived by DAWSON. Returned to over a period of seven years, in her work DAWSON moves cyclically, seemingly unfazed by the passing of time.

This examination of the structures of the visual world, the real and unreal connects DAWSON’s abstract and figurative work. As the artist states, “some artists have a courageous acceptance of how things look and accept the retinal image. I can’t do that – I have to express what I know.”

[i] Deborah Edwards, “Janet Dawson: On Curiosity, Ambiguity and Attachment”, Janet Dawson Survey 1953 - 2006, 38.



Janet Dawson - Shadow no. 2
Janet Dawson
Shadow no. 2
synthetic polymer paint on canvas
91 x 121 cm
For Sale
For Sale
Janet Dawson - Scribble Creek Memory, Balgalow Creek
Janet Dawson
Scribble Rock Memory, Stoney Crossing, Balgalal Creek
oil on canvas
91 x 91.5 cm
For Sale
For Sale
Janet Dawson the Hawk and the Cloud I
Janet Dawson
The Hawk and the Cloud I
acrylic on canvas
102 x 71 cm
For Sale
For Sale
Janet Dawson Belladine Dusk
Janet Dawson
Bellarine Dusk
oil on canvas
70 x 75 cm
For Sale
For Sale
Janet Dawson Sprouting potatoes
Janet Dawson
Sprouting Potatoes
oil on canvas
41 x 45.5 cm
For Sale
For Sale
Cauliflower with Artichokes and Eggshells by Janet Dawson
Janet Dawson
Cauliflower with Artichokes and Eggshells
pastel/conte crayon on paper
31.5 x 42.8 cm
For Sale
For Sale
Cut-half Green Cabbage with Leaves II by Janet Dawson
Janet Dawson
Cut-half Green Cabbage with Leaves II
pastel on paper
28 x 38.5 cm
SOLD
SOLD
Janet Dawson
Off to the Shops, Ocean Grove
acrylic on birchwood tondo
30 cm diameter
For Sale
For Sale
One Red Onion by Janet Dawson
Janet Dawson
One Red Onion
gouache & pastel on paper
21.5 x 28 cm
For Sale
For Sale
Beach at Ocean Grove by Janet Dawson
Janet Dawson
Beach at Ocean Grove
gouache and pastel on primed paper
26.8 x 39 cm
SOLD
SOLD
Home Paddock - Dawn by Janet Dawson
Janet Dawson
Home Paddock - Dawn
pastel on primed paper
26.8 x 39 cm
For Sale
For Sale
Paddock Mushrooms - Big by Janet Dawson
Janet Dawson
Paddock Mushrooms - Big
gouache and pastel
19.4 x 26.8 cm
For Sale
For Sale
Stormy Ripples 2 by Janet Dawson
Janet Dawson
Stormy Ripples 2
gouache, pastel
24.6 x 32 cm
For Sale
For Sale
Tubs by Janet Dawson
Janet Dawson
Tubs
oil on canvas
20 x 20 cm
For Sale
For Sale