Last night I was lucky enough to attend the opening of Joel Dickens’ exhibition – entitled “Drone” –  at The Tate, the gallery above the Toxteth Hotel in Glebe. I was struck instantly by the immense 14m mural that was the showpiece of the evening. An exquisite explosion of drama across the room – a work that had taken Joel only 3 and a half days to produce in situ – a seemingly impossible feat – and the evidence was there, he had paint on his hands and a paintbrush behind his back (I assumed). It reminded me of Guernica by our beloved Picasso but with a generous injection of colour to supercharge the emotions.

Here are some notes about the exhibition:

By now, the 12th September 2012, Joel Dickens has produced one painting per week for the last 28 weeks. He will continue to do so until a collection of 52 works are finished, representing each week for the period of a year. Some works are large, others small, some are resolved whilst some seem positively unfinished, with Joel vowing not to return to any work after that week has ended. His show at The Tate represents week 32 in this process when Joel will produce a 14m long mural over the four days prior to the opening. People will be free to visit over this time when the work is being painted. A number of the year’s paintings will also be on view.Joel’s work is painted in reaction to global and domestic, public and private events. A painting, therefore, can often be regarded as a personal diary entry or a historical account of the week. However, with objective accounts of emotional events and emotional responses to distant events, the lines in this work between the global and the personal have begun to blur. Joel Dickens is represented by Arthouse Gallery, Sydney and Branco Gallerie, Buenos Aires. His work is held in private collections in Australia and internationally.

Well done Joel – we can’t wait for the next one! And readers, if you are in the Sydney area, you can check it out until Sunday.

Andrea Dell 11.10.2012