Dailan is a passionate conservationist, his love of the natural world and his desire to depict it, has led him down life’s path. He is awed by the vibrancy of the natural world across its spectrum, from deserts to rainforests, and down beneath the waves. His dismay at the carnage and degradation he has witnessed has forced him to spend more time on activism than his art. He was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for his services to forest conservation in 2004. Background…
“With my artwork I am endeavouring to awaken people to the beauty and intricacy of our natural world while developing a style derived from this primal source”
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the world’s natural wonders and an outstanding component of the world’s natural heritage. A visit to its coral gardens, with their multitudes of weird, wonderful and colourful inhabitants, is an inspirational experience. I have seen nothing to compare with the vibrancy of a healthy tropical reef
In our cooler waters red, brown and green seaweeds of a multitude of sizes and shapes colonise rocky outcrops, forming dense gardens that sway back and forth with the waves. In many places red alga encrust on the rock, being glimpsed beneath the oscillating seaweeds. These seaweed glades have their own inherent beauty that can be as captivating as a coral reef. Though the fish can be harder to see as they may disappear amongst the fronds
Dailan’s concerns over the plight of River Red Gums along Australia’s inland rivers, along with the parrots and cockatoos dependent upon their hollows, led him to an exploration of their beauty. He regards River Red Gums as true Australian icons.
Cockatoos and parrots are iconic Australian characters, their beauty, chatter and antics liven up the bush. They are normally a joy to encounter, though the loud raucous calls of some cockatoos can be a bit overwhelming when they gather in numbers as their voices don’t match their beauty. Sleeping next to a camp of whingeing Corellas is not restful (Raucous Welcome), while intruding into a nesting area for Sulphur-crested Cockatoos can be a bit overwhelming if they take exception to your presence (Save the Murray River Red Gums).
For a trip around Australia, Dailan became fascinated with the evolution of Australia’s ancient landscape, most apparent in the arid lands where the bones of the earth are laid bare. He finds the remaking of landscapes from the eroded remains of earlier mountains particularly intriguing. A series of gouaches and pastel works examines sandstone landscapes and details of their weathering.
Dailan began his artistic career long ago with pen and ink drawings of Victorian ground orchids, though when he first experienced the overt vibrancy of the rainforests of northern Australia they became his muse, with his pen and ink drawings used to aid rainforest campaigns in northern NSW and throughout the world.
FREE – ACTIVITY BOOKS
Dailan prepared an educational series of children’s activity books on Australian Habitats, which are provided here as part of the creative commons (which you are free to copy provided it is for non-commercial purposes).
(activity books, pictures of covers) ‘Forests’, ‘Deserts and Woodlands’, ‘Wetlands and Heaths’,
BODY OF WORK
While trying to re-engage with his art and improve his skills, Dailan relied on life drawing, playing with body forms in the process.
A Conservationist’s Perspective on Conservation in North East NSW.
This summarises the highlights of my work as a conservationist, along with some of my wins and losses. It tells events from my perspective, though I do not seek to take credit for all events and outcomes I describe, rather I seek to put what I was doing in the context of other events. Mostly I was one of many people contributing towards achieving our mutual goals, though some battles were very lonely.