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Kids/Reviews/Visual Art

Celebrate the ‘blue beautiful’ of Dylan Madurun’s world

30 September 2020

In ‘Electric Blue’, young Perth artist Dylan Madurun reveals what the colour blue means to him. Miranda Johnson and junior reviewer Saskia Haluszkiewicz review the AWESOME Festival exhibition.

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‘Electric Blue: An Exhibition by Dylan Madurun’, AWESOME Festival ·
Studio Underground foyer, State Theatre Centre of Western Australia ·
Review by Miranda Johnson ·

“Electric Blue” is a chance for audiences to engage directly with Dylan Madurun, this year’s AWESOME Festival artist in residence. It’s a great way for people to visit the foyer of the State Theatre Centre’s Studio, which is usually occupied by audiences waiting to enter performances. During the AWESOME Festival it’s a place of rest and enjoyment: visitors can spend time not only enjoying Madurun’s artworks, but also watching him work.

Younger audiences are invited to respond creatively to the exhibition through colouring activities that open them to the pleasures that Madurun’s artworks clearly celebrate – the world around us and the colours, characters and imagery that can bring us joy and happiness.

The exhibition is wide-ranging thematically but also quite focused, with what the artist describes as his “blue beautiful” style of work clearly linking the pieces. I enjoyed the personality that emanated from every work, especially his animal portraits, with the dog’s tongue lolling from its mouth as it sits happily for its portrait.

The paintings and drawings were complemented by a digital slideshow of Madurun’s work, showing the breadth of his subjects – from astronauts and cars to dogs, lizards, and fish, all painted in a compelling and individual style. In this way, Madurun’s unique individual works joined together to create an expansive celebration of his world.

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‘Electric Blue: An Exhibition by Dylan Madurun’, AWESOME Festival ·
Studio Underground foyer, State Theatre Centre of Western Australia ·
Junior review by Saskia Haluszkiewicz, aged 10 ·

Blue happens to be one of my favourite colours, so I was delighted when I found out I was to review the art exhibition, “Electric Blue”, by Dylan Madurun. He is an imaginative artist whose works depict blue in all its forms.

I wasn’t sure what to expect and wondered how Dylan would represent the colour in all his artworks. I was thrilled to see such a variety of images. He started with the question, “What does blue mean to you?”, and describes his style of art as “blue beautiful”.

Dylan is from Perth, with Indian heritage via Fiji and Malaysia. The 22 works in his exhibition cover topics such as cars, abstract, animals and plants, the Earth, movies and TV shows. He uses acrylics, Inktense pencils and paint markers on canvas and cartridge paper.

Dylan was painting in a corner with his easel and there was a pile of sticky notes for people to write suggestions of things for him to paint while they were walking around.

My favourite work was the Russian Blue Cat because it was captivating and made me want to look at it longer than the others. The Blue Tongue Lizard was my second favourite because it caught my eye with its textured background and hint of blue on its tongue.

I think this free exhibition is very worthwhile for people to look at and be inspired by Dylan’s amazing artworks. They are all for sale – but you’d better be quick as some of them are already sold!

‘Electric Blue: An Exhibition by Dylan Madurun’ continues until 2 October as part of the AWESOME Festival.

Pictured top: Perth artist Dylan Madurun is AWESOME Festival’s 2020 artist in residence.

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Author —
Miranda Johnson

Miranda Johnson is a curator and writer who has worked for various contemporary arts institutions, co-founded Cool Change Contemporary and co-hosts Fem Book Club at the Centre for Stories. Miranda’s favourite aspect of the playground is getting the chance to meet as many dogs as possible.

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