Dunn, Alex

Bio

Alex Dunn: a life in ten points, and a (sort of) statement.

1. Born in Glasgow in 1951.
2. Escaped to the Highlands. Attended Bualnaluib Primary School. His main achievements while there was that by primary six he could pronounce 'Bualnaluib',
and by primary seven could even spell it.
3. Moved to Cromarty. Went to Fortrose Academy. Sang the first verse of 'The Red Flag' in front of the entire school, from which embarrassment he has never fully recovered.
4. Attended Aberdeen University. Sang in the choir. Studied economic history. Discovered women and Indian food. Enjoyed all these experiences, in equal measure, but with varying success.
5. Worked as an operating theatre porter in Dundee and as a fishing ghillie at Loch Maree, two jobs which should on no account be mixed up.
6. Got married.
7. Jobs after marriage: assistant factor at Castle Leod; manager of Cromartie Timber; director and part-owner of Ardival Harps.
8. Started painting pictures while at University. Concentrated at first on dead rabbits, which period ended when he ate the rabbits. Over the years his art has become more and more abstract, with the distinct disadvantage that abstract art is strikingly indigestible.
9. His pictures have been shown in the annual open exhibitions of the Royal Scottish Academy, Visual Arts Scotland, Society of Scottish Artists, and the Royal Glasgow Institute, but he has never exhibited in Achiltibuie.
10. He keeps hens, grows vegetables, cuts firewood, and continues to make pictures.

Statement.

Question. Why do you make abstract pictures?
Answer. Because they aren't kittens.
Q. What?
A. Or stags. Or, come to that, Granny's Hieland Hame.
Q. But what do they mean?
A. Kittens?
Q. No, your bloody pictures!
A. More or less the same as a picture of kittens.
Q. But kittens don't mean anything. I mean, they're just....well, kittens, aren't they?
A. Exactly.
Q. What? What?
A. Or oil rigs, I suppose.
Q. Oh for heaven's sake! Ok, let me put it this way - do you, I mean your pictures, do they have a message?
A. Do they?
Q. What?
A. Do they have a message?
Q. How should I know?
A. I just make them, the pictures, you know. Whether they have a message or not, surely that's up to the spectator, don't you think?
Q. I wish I'd stuck to the property pages.
A. Interesting that. Did you know that when Einstein first went to New York, after he'd done the thing about relativity, the newspaper wanted to do an interview but the only journalist they could spare was one from the sports pages.
Q. Is that true?
A. Yup. Look it up - you're a journalist, aren't you?
Q. I'm beginning to wonder. Look, I can see what you do is abstract, but what else - I mean, what is it about abstract stuff that you like doing?
A. Precision.
Q. And....?
A. Simplicity.
Q. Good, yeah, and....?
A. Slowness.
Q. What?
A. Slowness. I like doing things sloooowly.
Q. So you drive a Reliant Robin?
A. Hah! Good one! No what I mean is - the artist Hundertwasser was asked why his pictures were made out of painted or drawn spirals, and he said that it was 'born from the desire to make marks slowly'. You see, function, not interpretation.
Q. Right. So what it comes down to is, you're slow and simple and pernickity.
A. Yeah, more or less.
Q. Thank you and good night.

Exhibitions

  • 2007 Royal Scottish Academy annual open exhibition, Edinburgh
  • 2008 Society of Scottish Artists annual open exhibition , Edinburgh
  • 2013 Royal Glasgow Institute annual open exhibition , Glasgow
  • 2012 Paisley Arts Institute annual open exhibition , Paisley
  • 2010 Aberdeen Artists Society annual open exhibition , Aberdeen
  • 2017 Cromarty Group annual exhibition , Cromarty
  • 2012 Art Aboyne annual exhibition , Aboyne
  • 2016 Moray Arts Centre , Findhorn
  • 2011 Stark Gallery , Canterbury
  • 2010 Visual Arts Scotland annual open exhibition, Edinburgh

Education

  • 1978 Economic History , Aberdeen University

Links

Close
Close

AKA3613279: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Deep Blue Placebo
Deep Blue Placebo

AKA3613280: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Yellow Box Self-Storage
Yellow Box Self-Storage

AKA3613281: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Her Divine Fulcrum
Her Divine Fulcrum

AKA3613282: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Weight of Expectation
Weight of Expectation

AKA3613283: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Blue Calvary
Blue Calvary

AKA3618924: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Blue World
Blue World

AKA3618926: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Infinity Pool
Infinity Pool

AKA3618927: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

AKA3618928: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Go to Yellow
Go to Yellow

AKA3618930: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Rupture
Rupture

AKA3618931: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

God's Navel
God's Navel

AKA3618932: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Box of Anxiety
Box of Anxiety

AKA3618935: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Red Circle
Red Circle

AKA3618960: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Black Circle
Black Circle

AKA3618961: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Cauderon
Cauderon

AKA3618962: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Black Slab
Black Slab

AKA3618963: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Oldshoremore (one)
Oldshoremore (one)

AKA3618964: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Oldshoremore (two)
Oldshoremore (two)

AKA3618965: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Red maze
Red maze

AKA3618966: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Don't fuck with the Culture
Don't fuck with the Culture

AKA3618967: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Pilgrim
Pilgrim

AKA3618968: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Pilgrims
Pilgrims

AKA3618969: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Red Circle
Red Circle

AKA3618984: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

AKA3618988: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

AKA3618990: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Caught
Caught

AKA3619006: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Red Circle on Blue
Red Circle on Blue

AKA3619007: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Big Hair
Big Hair

AKA3619008: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Hi-vis crackle and pop
Hi-vis crackle and pop

AKA3619009: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Aphrodite (blows her top)
Aphrodite (blows her top)

AKA3619010: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

The Patriot
The Patriot

AKA3619011: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

For Eva
For Eva

AKA3619012: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Jugs' Rupture
Jugs' Rupture

AKA3619013: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Masako
Masako

AKA3619032: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Does my bum look big in this?
Does my bum look big in this?

AKA3619033: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Grey drawing fifty seven
Grey drawing fifty seven

AKA3619034: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Mostly white
Mostly white

AKA3619035: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Into the north
Into the north

AKA3619036: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Dark square
Dark square

AKA3619037: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Crossed Lines
Crossed Lines

AKA3619038: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Kitchen scourers (one)
Kitchen scourers (one)

AKA3619470: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Segment
Segment

AKA3619471: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

A Very Still Life
A Very Still Life

AKA3619472: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Kitchen scourers (two)
Kitchen scourers (two)

AKA3619473: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Pilgrim on black
Pilgrim on black

AKA3619474: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Pilgrim on red
Pilgrim on red

AKA3619475: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Window and baked beans
Window and baked beans

AKA3619476: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Yellow, blue and red
Yellow, blue and red

AKA3619477: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Cathedral
Cathedral

AKA3619478: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

The Game of Klimt
The Game of Klimt

AKA3619479: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Other times have other lives to live
Other times have other lives to live

AKA3619480: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Structured dusk
Structured dusk

AKA3619481: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Orbis Factor (2)
Orbis Factor (2)

AKA3619482: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Poise on Yellow Field
Poise on Yellow Field

AKA3619484: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Orbis Factor (1)
Orbis Factor (1)

AKA3619485: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Burning Bright
Burning Bright

AKA5242338: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Ripeness is all
Ripeness is all

AKA5242339: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Vortex
Vortex

AKA5242340: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Black High
Black High

AKA5242341: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

AKA5242342: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Count to Ten Burlesque
Count to Ten Burlesque

AKA5242343: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Hylas and the nymphs
Hylas and the nymphs

AKA5242344: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Black Long
Black Long

AKA5242345: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Sleeper Service
Sleeper Service

AKA5242346: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images

Over the hills and far away
Over the hills and far away

AKA5242347: © Alex Dunn / Bridgeman Images


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