In his life as an artist, writer and filmmaker Geoff Dunlop has always asked questions. Most frequently the question is Why? And he has always sought to cross boundaries, push limits and challenge definitions. Can a camera produce work that is more like a painting than a photograph? Can visual art be used to explore the invisible? Can an image become an object? Can a still picture become moving sculpture?
Geoff asks all these questions and more in the work he has made for the Cotswold Sculpture Park: large, translucent fabrics hanging from and between trees, in clusters and formations. As light shines on and through the cotton sheets they dramatically alter their appearance. As breezes and winds make them move, whether gently or violently, they become kinetic sculpture. They also become a way of bringing the viewer’s attention to the ever shifting elements that flow through our lives. Because they are so familiar to us, it is easy to ignore these natural processes. But, as we have increasingly and alarmingly begun to discover, we ignore the actions and reactions of nature at our peril.
For Geoff, the painterly patterns that he prints onto translucent cotton (and other media) are themselves descriptive of these invisible processes. The visual effects created by water and wind help him to imagine the endless exchange of energy inside the smallest atom or the largest and most distant galaxy.
Over many years Geoff travelled the world asking questions as a filmmaker, mostly for international broadcast … making meaning with pictures. But it became inevitable that he would ultimately concentrate his focus on the visual arts. His films on art and artists have been shown at the Tate and National galleries in London, the Metropolitan and Witney museums in New York and the Pompidou centre in Paris.
Now he makes and exhibits his own artworks from bases in Somerset, Bristol and Bath. He is an associate artist at Spike Island, Bristol, and at the Royal West of England Academy. He also regularly curates and exhibits at the annual FaB festival of contemporary art in Bath. His work has been shown and is in collections in Europe, Asia and the Americas.