W I N G E D S E R I E S
The Winged Series was first exhibited as a finalist in the Sulman Prize, as part of the Archibald, Wynne & Sulman Prize Exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 2014.
Birds are a part of Dallas Lesley's life and have defined her most recent body of work. The structural qualities of the paint allow her to fully utilize the textural way in which she works, with each brushstroke emulating feathered forms sweeping through the canvas.
The humans in these paintings are always in black and white to accentuate their strongest characteristics – whilst the birds are pure forms of natural, saturated colours rendered in thick, luscious brushstrokes to sculpt their flighted forms. Brilliant hues radiate from angled feathers, catching the light. In some works she includes birds that are layered almost tattoo-like into the face, ghosted onto the flesh and into the background.
These paintings exude love and trust, intelligence and purity, resourcefulness tempered with cheeky playfulness. Dallas Lesley’s interest in the enriching bond between animals and humans also encompasses the acknowledged care for these lives. Her careful consideration of the character and beauty of these birds is tempered by the awareness that some of these species are fast losing their space in their habitats. She is an animal advocate and supporter of bird and animal protection organisations.
"Dallas Lesley's new series explodes with movement, colour and energy. Her passion for and affiliation with native and exotic birds has led to a hyper-real dance of birds in flights of fancy. Her clever sense of composition and character within each canvas creates a flawless blend of black and white portraiture and dynamic expressionism". - Grant Wolf - Writer, Actor, Entertainer
S E R I E S O F W O R K S - P R E S E N T T O P A S T
Colourful, dynamic, textural, vibrant, palpable - all words used to describe Dallas Lesley's works. The characteristics for which Dallas Lesley's works are recognised are all of these elements, plus her use of texture, light and shadow, to achieve a creative response to different ideas.
The Oceanscapes Series captures the sea, land and skies rich with atmospheric forces. The fleeting moment at twilight when the sky and the sea are fused in electric blue and the hues disgorged at the beginning and the end of the day. Elements of this series are also evident in Dallas Lesley's Winged series - her main body of work. Paintings from Oceanscapes / Cloudscapes have been selected as finalists in many judged exhibitions including The Fleurieu Art Prize, the Canberra Art Prize, the Cromwell’s Art Prize and The ANL Maritime Art Prize.This series has been selected for private collections in Australia, the USA and Japan. The textural relationship in this series is the forms it evokes - "...with it’s heavy sweep of emerald coloured sky or dribbling lava-like folds of cloud at sunset.”. - Lenny Ann Low, Sydney Morning Herald
Exotica Paradiso is Dallas Lesley’s interpretation of the exotic shapes and tapered forms of the luscious folliage and flora of our rainforests and tropical zones. Exotica is also evident in her Winged series - her main body of work. Leaves and petals heavy with luxurious scents, and the palpable elements of life-giving rain and the earth, give way to vibrant bursts of colour splashed from a palette rich with saturated hues, a semi abstract translation of the sensual contours of nature. Works from this collection have been exhibited in Australia and Hong Kong.
The Portraits Series has been a recent addition over the last few years, with portraits of well known Australians Christine Anu and Tim Shaw amongst them. Self portraits have also featured, one of which was a selected finalist in the Berkelow Portrait Prize, and Dallas Lesley's large painting of Christine Anu was a finalist in the Percival Portrait Prize and acquired by the Perc Tucker Regional Gallery in Townsville for the gallery's permanent collection. .
A painting from her Traveller Series called "The morning after - the party's over" was a finalist in The Sulman Prize in the Archibald, Wynne & Sulman Exhibition 2008 at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Heavily layered with impasto and sand, and showing a strong use of chiaroscuro, these works interplay light and shadow to create dramatic visions in the spaces beyond. The presence and scale of the characters in her paintings gives impact in each work. Dallas began these works in her travels through Italy, Spain and France, and historic areas of Australia have also featured in this series.
The Immersion Series is Dallas Lesley's paintings from exploring the reefs and marine life of Australia and around the world. First exhibited in Australia in early 2002, these works have been selected as finalists in several judged exhibitions, including The Walkom Manning Art Prize and The Fisher’s Ghost Contemporary Art Prize, and have been exhibited in New York, China, Fiji and Hong Kong. Captain Cook Cruises sponsored Dallas Lesley on her explorations of the reefs around the Yasawa Islands in Fiji in 2001 and 2002, and the Sheraton Fiji Resort hosted an exhibition of her finished works. These works are layered with texture and capture the essence of drifting beneath the surface in the reflected light from the world above.
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