Nick Dridan grew up on a farm in Amphitheatre, central Victoria, surrounded and enclosed by the Pyrenees mountain ranges. His work borrows heavily from this landscape, its forms, and its inhabitants. He finds the strangeness and beauty of everyday things and scenes provides much of his inspiration.
Nick’s paintings could be described as lying somewhere between truth and myth, real and imaginary. Memory and the imagined are important in his working method, as is direct observation. A loose sense of narrative, storytelling and exploration of ideas is also a common theme in his work, but never really concrete, he would rather the visual language of painting speak for itself and be interpreted however the viewer pleases.
Rational or not, life without myth is like life without art or sex – insipid and inhuman. – John Gray, The Silence of Animals.
“The overriding theme in these new paintings is a continued exploration of the forms and environment of a small area in central Victoria where I grew up. Amphitheatre is located in the Pyrenees mountain ranges and for the past few years my art practice has been based on the family farm there and it’s surrounding landscape.
My fascination with the forms and inhabitants (both human and other animals) has provided enough material for me to create my paintings. It has also allowed me to move away from paintings with dense concepts behind them, which I was creating at university. I simply began to enjoy the process of abstract design, and being able to find line, shape, tone etc in the landscape and arrange it in a painting. However it still remains, that no matter how abstracted or seemingly simple works of figurative art are; the viewer will always read into them, looking for meaning. Storytelling and myth are part of being human, throughout the process of creating these works, I have considered both old and modern myths. I have also considered the possibility of figurative art as a tool for the creation of new myths and fictions. Although a figurative painting may not have been created with any describable meaning in mind, it remains fertile ground for narrative and discussion.”