‘eartharc’™ is a symbol for Dusty’s work. Intrigued by the inward and outward forms of the arc, Dusty designed the eartharc motif in 2003 to acknowledge and represent his understanding of the grand design of nature; He has the motif tattooed as a reminder that all things are unique, yet interconnected and interdependent.
Completing a Bachelor of Arts in 1999 and a Diploma of Art & Creativity in 2006, Dusty continues to paint and exhibit, both in New Zealand and Australia. In 2014 he opened a gallery in Byron Bay in collaboration with Stay Gold Studio.
Dusty has acquired knowledge of the creative potential working for youth, a qualified Teacher, and Vocational Trainer specialising in Visual Arts and Digital Media Technology. Dusty sees the arts as the tools of culture, allowing him to identify and engage with those across culture with ease.
The precision of Dusty’s work demands a meditative approach which connects him deeply and peacefully to the world both past and present. Dusty’s art bridges modern youth culture and ancient cultures. He produces profound yet grounded imagery with a timeless quality that belongs to no one particular culture yet feels familiar to all.
Dusty works the lines he observes in nature. These lines are the trajectory in his stylisation of elemental and life force themes; the core of all his work. As he sees it, the line is imbued with life, producing a moment of its own, and casting us into the Dream.
The things Dusty sees in nature may re-emerge in his art; Sunlit burrows of an Oak tree, watercolour leaves fractured by the inky silhouette of branches; Rainbow sheen across the tiny windows of a Dragonfly’s wing, like a lead light design; Patterned spray of seed spores on a ferns underleaf; Tiled segments of a leathery starfish glossy against the coarse sand.
These paintings are alive. Dusty’s works explore the multidimensional universal truths found in nature, existing as silent knowledge, often overlooked in everyday life, yet unmistakable and unforgettable whenever encountered.
Accentuating the patterns that Dusty sees within the contours of the land, sea and flora, his unique perspective and attentions takes a graphic approach to his artwork. Beginning conceptually through sketches, reduction and focus to produce a new design that reflects and captures Nature’s forms.
The play of the ocean’s surface leads Dusty to his own interpretation of its forces. His design pulls you into the curl of a wave, plunging you into the swash and backwash of colours as it passes over. His unique wave paintings communicate the speed, power and flow of a surfer’s experience.
In 1999, at 21, Dusty slept for six months in the Dunedin Botanical Gardens under a huge Redwood tree, immersing his own nature in the prolific nature surrounding him. Five years later he returned for 30 days and completed a series of sketches. Having carried half a dozen of these to a painted completion, he still draws upon these designs for inspiration.
Dusty focuses his attention to quickly sketch the essence of nature’s complexity in simple stand-out strokes. Finished paintings however, can take years to complete, and the time spent on these works is palatable. The lifespan of the artwork is therefore enriched and paralleled by moments of Dusty’s own life over the years.
Dusty transposes his design to board with an exactness of composition, bending and thickening the lines to create a depth of perspective that encloses the viewer. With fine brush strokes he paints layers of base colours, or checkered monochrome shades of grey, underpainting for the depth of colour that is layered upon next.
Using bent paper clips, Dusty sits across the board and dips the wire into vibrant high-gloss enamels and acrylic paints. The paints surface tension clings to the wire and is released upon the surface of the work with a tap. To a rhythm Dusty takes meticulous care to create a textured surface with dashes, strokes, ridges, and paint pools with the wire.
Thoughtful colourways emerge where one colour scatters the surface of many base shades purposely left to reveal, creating the illusion of a second hue, provoking a sense of a parallel reality where yellow skies, blue suns and rainbow waters exist. Sunlight flashes and casts depth across the work and as you move around the painting it shows it’s life.
Having completed many commissions in the past, Dusty now prefers to be compelled to paint by his spirit alone, freeing him to take bolder risks to explore and express himself. Working at his own pace and volition, he creates finely crafted paintings with the finished quality of an inspired and original work.
▼// *2018 – UGees Espresso - West End, QLD, AU
▼// 2015 – Stay Gold - Byron Bay, NSW, AU
▼// *2014 – Stay Gold - Byron Bay, NSW, AU
▼// 2010 – Eat, Restaurant, Dunedin, NZ
▼// 2010 – Dowling St June Project, Dunedin, NZ
▼// 2010 – Dowling St Midwinter Project, Fringe Festival, Dunedin, NZ
▼// 2008 – Dowling St Midwinter Project, Fringe Festival, Dunedin, NZ
▼// *2007 – Katikati 04 Set & Dunedin 07 Set, Modaks Café, Dunedin, NZ
▼// *2007 – Dunedin Paintings Enamel Set, Tangente Café, Dunedin, NZ
▼// *2001 – Tuapiro Publishings Ink Set, National Reading Recovery Conference, Auckland, NZ
▼// *2000 – Tuapiro Publishings Ink Set, Expresso Café, Auckland, NZ
▼// Byron Community College: Training & Assessment, Vocational Education & Training, Cert IV 2013 – 2013
▼// The Learning Connexion: Diploma of Art and Creativity, Visual Arts 2004 – 2006
▼// Auckland College of Education: Graduate Diploma of Teaching, Teaching Subjects: Art, Technology, ICT, Graphics and Design 2002 – 2004
▼// University of Otago: Bachelor of Arts, Design Major 1997 – 1999