Selected artworks, photos and stories.
Tasmanian southern coast, 2013.
Oil pastel on paper.
Journey artworks, photos and stories done in Australia and around the world.
Studio artworks done in Australia and Eastern Europe.
Tasmanian and Australian artworks, photos and stories.
Apart from two photos, all artworks, photos and stories in all of the galleries on this website were created by the artist, Raymond Dean.
To send a message, use the contact prompt (Contact me) at the bottom of every page.
Born in Melbourne 1965.
Based in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.
The early years of my life were spent growing up in Frankston, Victoria, exploring the countryside and coast of the Mornington Peninsula, south-east of Melbourne. Our family holidays were trips to Tasmania visiting relatives and camping in national parks around Victoria, including Wilson’s Promontory, The Grampians and the Mallee and Murray River regions south of Mildura. From an early age, I was interested in natural and wild places, which grew from my families’ interest in nature and bush walking. Drawing and painting became a passion for me during my early teenage years, from where it has developed into my life’s vocation.
After finishing a three year degree in fine art at RMIT in 1986, I worked from a studio attached to my home in St Kilda, Victoria. During this time, I made a complete departure from the type of artwork done while at art-school and started on the path that has led to my present artwork, which is based on observation of the subject and intuitive construction of the composition. (See: Artwork description below for more details)
Through various part-time and casual laboring, hospitality and other low-skilled jobs from 1984 to 89, I was able to make five summer bush walking and sketching trips to Tasmania’s wild mountain and coastal country. The sketches made on these trips were later used as inspiration for my studio work, particularly after leaving art-school. This work also enabled me to go overseas for a three year period from 1989, where I traveled through southern Asia, from India and Nepal through to Turkey via Pakistan and Iran. I then worked in hotels in Edinburgh and the Highlands of Scotland, before traveling back to Australia via Europe, India, Nepal and South-East Asia. I continued sketching and developing my artwork, which was also enhanced by the travel experiences during this time.
After completing a teaching diploma in Melbourne in 1993, I moved to Hobart, Tasmania, where I have been based since 1994. After my earlier trips here and my time spent in the Himalayas and the Scottish Highlands, Tasmania was a natural choice for me as a place to live and work in Australia as an artist. Its landscapes have been a constant source of inspiration through sketching and observation of the landforms and structures and for developing studio-based artworks. Since 1986, I have been exhibiting in solo and group exhibitions, mostly in Hobart and Melbourne.
To support my art practice since 1994, I have obtained income through casual and part-time relief teaching, English language teaching, exhibition installation and gallery attendant part-time work. While having time away from Tasmania, I have had teaching jobs in Eastern Europe, which helped me to make regular artwork journeys of between 18 months and two years or more to Europe, Asia, North Africa and Latin America. I have also made artwork journeys to Central and Western Australia of three to six months. The works on paper from all these journeys, along with artworks done in Tasmania, have formed solo exhibitions in Hobart and Melbourne.
At the end of 1986, I completed a fine art degree in painting, drawing and print making at RMIT in Melbourne. Since then, I have focused on using painting and drawing media, and particularly on works on paper. Nature has been the major inspiration for these artworks, along with a range of artistic and personal influences and experiences through travels here and abroad.
These artworks are created from observation of the subject and through intuitive emotional responses as the compositions progress, evoking a sense of discovery and renewed visual understanding of the subject described. The variations of surface layers, textures and transparencies, although abstract pieces of mark making, come together to form and describe the subject. Whether it be a landscape or still-life, each subject is a vehicle for looking into the processes of formation, evolution and dissipation. There-by describing a state beyond a fixed or solid expression of nature. The still-life objects are also chosen for their simple timeless appearance and universal recognition.
Tasmania’s coastal and mountainous landscapes have been a continuing source of visual inspiration for describing form and space, along with arid, mountain and coastal landscapes in other parts of Australia and around the world.
Significant personal and artistic inspiration has come from a wide range of cultural experiences gained during extensive travels and opportunities to live and work in Asia, Europe, North Africa and Latin America. These include their art, architecture, cultural and religious practices. For instance, the designs and structures influenced by Persian and Indian Mystic Islam, which conveys a sense of the infinite, immensity of the universe with a sublime cosmology in its complete form and intricate, atomic-like parts. Also, the philosophical views on natures’ impermanence held by Hindu and Buddhist cultures, such as its cycle of order and entropy. Forming or coming into being, then dissolving or dissipating into chaos.
The work of several artists has contributed to the development of my visual language, especially that of William Turner, Paul Cezanne and Pierre Bonnard. They have influenced the building of volumes, spaces and the use of colour temperature and tone to suggest the presence of the subject. The meditative stillness and metaphysical qualities I find in the work of Alberto Giacometti, Giorgio Morandi, and Mark Rothko have been key influences. I have drawn inspiration from various aspects in the approach to landscape, still-life and processes towards abstraction in the work of Australian artists, including Ian Fairweather, Fred Williams, Godfrey Miller and Roger Kemp.
Ultimately, these artworks endeavor to be a process and expression of visual poetry, and to express and to connect with the world around us. As with other forms of art such as music, poetry or dance, visual art forms, in particular drawing and painting, are ancient forms of language which humans have used to express the world around them for thousands of years. There-fore, I find the need for originality becomes irrelevant and the focus is on a unique personal perspective and artistic journey built on our heritage, accumulated life experiences and world view.