Trish Clark Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition of Phil Dadson’s expressive drawings spanning five decades, entitled DRAWN IN (17 August – 24 September 2022).
Phil Dadson foregrounds sound as a primary impetus for a diverse practise in which drawing has played a pivotal role. Rendering visible the connection between rhythm, body, time and space, the works in DRAWN IN provoke an invitation for a more nuanced understanding of the importance and coherence of Dadson’s drawings throughout his practice. From the boldly handsome scores of the 1970’s Play series and the repeated circular forms of chalk-drawn Groundplans that underpinned all From Scratch performances; through the full-body performance of large graphite drawings to the dense Rock Records of Antarctica’s Dry Valley and delicate wind-drawn wisps of Indian ink on crumpled glassine of January Music; and the expanded notion of drawing delivered by the whirling i-phone videography of April Music or the small dense mudstamps of 2021’s August Music; these and other drawings deliver a lateral view of sound, a register of being human in the moment, becoming artefacts of time in a rich lyrical survey.
Christina Barton has averred how “Dadson’s prime concern is to tap into material existence to find its rhythm and pulse, to explore a sensory realm in order to connect with the world in both its concrete and disembodied dimensions. This entails harnessing the body to physical reality via its senses, movements and sound-generating potential, in ways that enable the individual to connect with the wider systems (visible and invisible, natural and social) within which humans operate. This is a phenomenological inquiry seeking knowledge of the world and of the self within it that is at once selfless and profoundly fulfilling. Dadson is not only motivated by his own impulses and desires, but sees the potential in what he does for connecting people to each other and to their environment, so his is a socially motivated project.”
Phil Dadson is a seminal figure in New Zealand’s art history. He is recognised both for pushing the boundaries of sound and intermedia art since the 1970s through his founding role in establishing From Scratch (1974 – 2002), the internationally renowned performance group; and for his influence on a generation of leading mid-career artists. His highly inventive trans-disciplinary approach encompasses experimental musical instruments and sonic objects, video/sound installation, music composition, graphic scores, drawing and graphics, sound sculptures and improv with invented instruments. Appointed to the Sculpture Department at Auckland University’s Elam School of Fine Arts in 1977, Dadson held the position of Head of Intermedia/Time based arts from 1986 – 2001. Dadson has received many major awards and commissions including a Fulbright travel award to the USA, residencies in Antarctica, Delhi, Venice, San Francisco, and numerous International research, exhibition and performance grants. In 2001 he received a New Zealand Arts Foundation Laureate award and in 2003 an Antarctic Artist Fellowship. Dadson was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) in 2005.
Dadson lives and works in Auckland, New Zealand.