“To be a good painter, you have to be a bit stupid”

-Salvador Dali


The act of painting; It’s like creating a flame by rubbing two sticks together. The discipline isn’t always efficient. It’s messy, materially and conceptually, but the process is spiritual and the resolution, magic. 

Passionate and romantic, the small colourful works on raw wood paneling present folksy imaginings. Just as Rousseau painted the jungles of Africa without ever leaving Paris in his lifetime, my dreams are other-worldly, and I struggle to realize them in paint.

The process of painting straight onto unprimed building material, is reminiscent of work by Australian outlaw artist Ian Fairweather. My methods are partly a result of my fascination with outsider painters. The work also touches on the psychedelic notion of hallucination, seeing crawling visions in inanimate objects and walls.

 Ghosts are real, they live in our subconscious, they are the shadow part of human love. The past is all we have. Everything that is dead, or extinct, still exists on another plain. In my paintings ghosts are acknowledged, the past is captured, and immortalized.

The Thylacine became extinct in the 1930s, at the same time the surrealists were hitting their stride in Europe. The marsupial is from Tasmania, (a small island off the South of Australia) the creature stands as a symbol of exoticism in Australasia. Proud but lonely this Tiger is painted bigger than life, bigger than me. He stands in a futurist environment, space like. He has transcended, and exists on another plain.

It is said that children can’t differentiate between inanimate objects and living things. When I was very young, 3 or 4, I had no real friends; I created them out of paper and cardboard, the same size as me. It was wonderfully fulfilling! It still is.   


Dyana Gray 2011


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Conceived as a two-year project, ‘a gallery’ opened in February 2011 at 393 Princes Street, Dunedin and closed in September 2012. Strategically placed south of the center of town nestled between tattoo studios, sex shops and a needle exchange. What was integral in the selection of the gallery space was that it would be able to be viewed from the street through the street level floor to ceiling windows. This would allow the artists showing to be exposed not only to viewers visiting the gallery, but also those walking past, as a gallery was to represent artists that did not fit within the commercial gallery context or the so called experimental project space’s, this would be the best way to expose a particular group of artists selected by gallery curator/manager Jay Hutchinson, artists he respected and admired and felt were not being represented in the gallery scene at the time.

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1 Comment

  1. How poetic, you write beautifully, your words transcend the page- I can’t wait to view your painitngs and I am very pleased to have the opportunity.
    My life is full of sadness and loss. I carry the memory of people I loved who have died, and I feel tormented by their absence, therefore I too believe in ghosts.
    Hopefully I will see you at the opening.

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