Dana Dion Faraway Dusk (Detail) Acrylic on canvas in box frame 122 x 112cm $AUD 4,280 Enquire
Nature and change drive and inspire Australian Artist Dana Dion and her paintings. These words are also the motivating forces in her life. Dana’s abstract landscapes are influenced by her connections to the geographies of Israel, Africa, Canada, England and Australia. Luscious and evocative, her paintings explore both the physical landscape and an inner landscape. She uses a personal language driven by the experience of travel, change and connecting to a place. “The landscapes do not depict a specific place, but rather a recording of the many places I have lived in,” Dana explains.
Dana’s upcoming art exhibition Open Spaces opens on the 10th of November 2015 at Art2Muse Gallery in Double Bay, Sydney, Australia and runs through to 23rd November.
Dana’s layered and bold landscape paintings are an exploration of the world and her subsequent quest for expression of that experience. As Dana explains, “I aim to locate a place where I belong: to connect to, care, and have a place that is mine.” Open Spaces is a reflection of this ongoing personal exploration.
Dana Dion in her Sydney studio standing in front of Inner Harbour Acrylic on mixed media 137 x 137cm SOLD Enquire
Dana Dion Clearview Acrylic on canvas 102 x 91cm $AUD 2,550 Enquire
Dana explores the openness and light of the space. She abstracts from the landscape and lets go of notions of structure. This permits an imprint of her artistic temperament. Her talent is the ability to merge painterly abstraction whilst keeping her feeling and experience of the land. Her paintings are balanced with a sense of vulnerability and a love for the process of painting.
Dana explains, “When I compose a painting, I like to represent it as a puzzle, so it doesn’t quite make sense. However the viewer can look at it and internally reconstruct it. When someone views my work, I aim to have them actively participate and construct what it is for them. I like the viewer’s participation, not every detail is provided” Dana continues, “I aim to have the viewer complete the painting in terms of their own evoked feelings and experiences. This happens, people tell me that they can look at my paintings in a variety of ways, transporting them. My paintings aim to stimulate feelings, involvement and viewer journeys.”
Dana Dion Sunlight Stream Acrylic on canvas in box frame 127 x 125cm $AUD 4,350 Enquire
Dana Dion Morning Calm Acrylic on board 100 x 150cm $AUD 4,300 Enquire
For Open Spaces, Dana worked with a variety of colour palettes. Dana comments, “The first thing I decide are the colours to use. I like to employ colours of nature in the context of natural organic shapes. I look at my paints and colour selection just happens. I repeatedly make and remove marks. Since my work is influenced by nature and the quality of nature is always changing, I aim to make my work mimic this flux, keeping the painting alive: paint and cover up, hide and add, layers and layers often revealing or suggesting what is underneath.”
“Art for me is the excitement of creation in a relatively unstructured way. Painting and drawing frees me to express, think, push boundaries, learn, explore… I can let go and there is no need to conform. It is my creation… not what is expected of me from others.”Dana Dion
Dana Dion View from Sunny Slopes Acrylic on canvas 100 x 100cm $AUD 2,790 Enquire
Dana Dion River Trail Acrylic on x 122 x 137cm $AUD 4,550 Enquire
Dana was born in Tel Aviv, Israel and travelled back and forth between East Africa and Israel during her childhood years. In 1974 her family moved to Vancouver, Canada where Dana started to explore an interest in art and started to paint large-scale murals during art class at her school. “I enjoyed the art classes and asked if I could paint some of the schools walls” Dana continues, “I was given those large grey walls to paint — what a great thing to do at school! This experience stimulated my interest in painting.”
When Dana was 18 years old, she returned to Israel for a year and then spent a year living and working in Los Angeles. Dana returned to Vancouver in 1980 where she owned and ran successful fitness businesses for 12 years. Dana explains, “When I was a child I always used to dance and love fitness. In LA I was into aerobics, and when I returned to Vancouver there were no fitness places. So I started one! It grew exponentially to over 18,000 members. Then I sold it to the competition.” During this period, Dana also initiated the first Canadian Ironman Triathlon race in Penticton, British Columbia, which was held in 1983 and continues annually.
Dana continues to work as a fitness instructor in various gyms in Sydney, Australia. She teaches at Mantra Yoga in Crows Nest and North Shore Gym in Lane Cove. Dana has also been with Fitness First for about 12 years. Dana primarily teaches yoga and Pilates but she has previously taught other classes such as Pump, spin and aqua aerobics. This part of Dana’s life also influences her work. “When I’m painting I dance around, I’m very energetic and usually barefoot. I go wild and crazy,” Dana laughs.
Dana Dion Spring Engenders Acrylic on paper in box frame 100 x 100cm $AUD 2,680 Enquire
In 1995, Dana and her husband, together with their three children, moved to London, UK. Dana was eager to learn additional techniques and embrace her natural inclination for visual expression so she enrolled to study painting at the Hampstead Institute, London where she was exposed to working with pastels, watercolours, oils and acrylics, trying different materials and techniques.
During her time in England, Dana explored painting effects, using paint to make things look like other things for example wood or stone. Dana explains, “I painted furniture. I would go to auctions and find good quality wood furniture, buy it, revamp and sell them. That was fun. Then I started painting more on canvases and board and that continued to lead to me where I am now.”
Dana Dion View from Timber Reserve Acrylic on board in box frame 125 x 125cm $AUD 4,380 Enquire
Dana Dion Majestic Spring Acrylic on canvas in box frame 101 x 93cm $AUD 2,500 Enquire
Dana and her family settled in Sydney in 2000, and she immediately found herself at home in the sensibility of Australia’s varied landscape. “I love the Australian bush, sea, vegetation, sounds and smells,” Dana comments. Dana and her husband often camp in various locations for periods of time. While out in the landscape, she photographs and sketches then returns to the studio to paint. Dana spends most of her time painting from memory and feeling. In the privacy of her studio, she creates a dialogue between herself and her work that is ongoing, active, and always fresh.
Dana comments, “When I return from a place, such as a National Park I have the urge to paint. When walking in the bush, you look down and see new rocks, new water, new leaves and old leaves. New things are created, everything is in a flux. I love that, and hope it comes out in my work.” She continues, “I love nature, camping and walking. I love the activity and detailed sensory experience of it. But I also like the freedom, of space and observing the beauty of nature. I always return back to the studio inspired. I like the studio space and I spend most of my time there, pottering around, and starting to create. I like to keep my paintings alive, as far as my invested energy, but also mimicking the aliveness of nature, as it dies it is also reborn, and this is the process of how I paint.”
“For me painting is meditative …I travel into an imaginary world. I am awake, I am alert, yet completely absorbed in the act of painting…not thinking of anything else” Dana Dion
Dana Dion At the Bay Acrylic on canvas 122 x 122cm $AUD 4,350 Enquire
In 2005 Dana dedicated herself to painting full-time, applying to each work the discipline of her lifetime of travel and experiences. “It’s the travel, it’s the moving, it’s different because you have to connect to a place and you have reinvent yourself every time you go somewhere. When you travel, you appreciate the beauty, and do what you have to do when you want to do it. However, when you’re moving, actually living somewhere that is new, that is my inspiration. It is to experience that feeling of wanting to connect, and that’s why I started to paint landscapes, so that I had somewhere to connect to because of all the travel and the moving around I have experienced.” Dana continues, “I think that travel and change creates flexibility and to be flexible you need to be creative. So I think that’s what has lead me to see things the way I do. I like that when you reinvent yourself, those remnants of who you were or who you become create layers, and I like that.”
Intuition and boldness drive Dana’s work. Accidents along the way make for spontaneity and improvisation. In this dialogue between the planned and the unplanned, Dana finds a balance. Her works are often tethered by an underlying grid and horizontal structure referencing landscape.
Dana Dion River Valley Acrylic on board 100 x 150cm $AUD 4,390 Enquire Finalist at the Mosman 2015 Art Prize (Sydney, Australia)
Over the last 10 years, Dana has been a winner and finalist in numerous prestigious art awards including the following more recent competitions;
2015: Gosford Art Prize – Highly Commended, Mosman Art Prize – Finalist, Fishers Ghost Art Prize Open – Finalist, ANL Maritime Art Prize Victoria – Finalist, Muswellbrook Art Prize -Finalist, North Sydney Art Prize – Finalist, Blacktown Art Prize – Finalist, Royal Arts Show -Winner Seascape and Best in Category, Lane Cove Art Prize – Commended, Northbridge Art Prize – Best Acrylic Painting.
2014: Blacktown Art Prize – Finalist, Fishers Ghost Art Prize – Finalist, Kogarah Art Prize – Finalist, Hunters Hill Art Prize – Finalist, Lane Cove Art Prize – Commended, Flinders Art Show Melbourne – Highly Commended, Royal Arts Show – Highly Commended, The Hills Art Prize – 2nd Prize
2013: Northbridge Art Prize – 2nd Prize, Art Oakhill Art Prize – 2nd Prize, Royal Arts Show -2nd Prize Seascape, Fishers Ghost Art Prize – Finalist, Canterbury Art Prize Victoria – 3rd Prize, Art Oakhill Art Prize – 2nd Prize, Gosford Art Prize – Finalist, Waverley Art Prize – Finalist, CPM National Print Award Tweed Valley – Finalist, Bowral Art Prize – Finalist, ANL Maritime Art Prize Victoria – Finalist, Hunters Hill Art Prize – Finalist
2012: International Art Contest – 2nd Prize, Royal Arts Show – 1st Prize Print Making, Lane Cove Art Prize – Highly Commended, Sydney Royal Arts Show – Highly Commended Seascape, Lane Cove Art Prize – Highly Commended, ANL Maritime Art Prize – Finalist, Blacktown Art Prize – Finalist, Hunters Hill Art Prize – Finalist, Outback Art Prize – Finalist
Dana Dion Bulla Creek Acrylic on canvas 92 x 122cm $AUD 2,750 Enquire
Dana Dion Headland Oil on board in frame 100 x 124cm $AUD 3,880 Enquire
Dana Dion Radiant Field Acrylic and oil on canvas in box frame 125 x 100cm $AUD 3,880X Enquire
Dana Dion Sundown Walk Acrylic on canvas in box frame 137 x 122cm $AUD 4,500 Enquire
Dana Dion August 1 Acrylic on paper framed 107 x 137cm $AUD 3,980 Enquire
Dana Dion August 2 Acrylic on paper framed 107 x 137cm $AUD 3,980 Enquire
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