Paintings by Germaine Dolan
10th April – 2nd May 2016
Dolan’s work is complex. It repays, even demands, a certain concentration. The most recent work, the very exciting “Broadway Jungle” 2015, is a cornucopia of colour and freely made marks, held together in a taut but discreet architecture. There are, at least, fifteen different colours, from white to charcoal, eight different kinds of mark. Paint applied flatly, probably with a broad brush, dribbled lines, splashes, scratches. Sometimes densely opaque, elsewhere one colour can glow through another. Dolan is particularly good at dealing head on, with no man’s land, the middle of the habitat. The glorious overlapping reds in “Sohan”, the fluorescence of the dropped green circles in “Oasis”, the glaring orange and yellow ladder in “Broadway Jungle”. These ‘take the eye’ but bestow the rest of the image on the seeing eye.
It is Dolan’s achievement to make perfectly convincing, heartwarming images of great originality, both unexpected and intimate, without recourse to any particular Western set of conventions. An habitué of the Sinai Desert for 35 years, it may be possible to sense in the colour choices and designs, something of Arabia. And certainly the un European-ness of the desert, the upside-down-ness of sky-land sensations, odd conjunctions of rock and sand. Painting is kept alive by painters. And that is all.
Cuillin Bantock, March 2016
Cuillin Bantock trained as both painter and zoologist. Having worked for two decades as an evolutionary geneticist, with several books and over twenty papers published, he returned to painting full-time in 1989 and has served on the Board of Art in Perpetuity Trust for the past ten years.
In this interview – Germaine Dolan speaks to Myles Corley about a life immersed in the Arts.