Dean Home’s new suite of paintings hinges on the artist’s interest in Chinese art, poetry and philosophy. The works stylistically alloy Chinese culture with Italianate and Baroque tradition, forging a synthesis between the east and the west. Antique Chinese vessels with swathes of fabric, fecund fruit, calligraphy brushes and vivacious magnolias are rendered with exquisite chiaroscuro and a highly refined palette. The paintings are replete with symbolism, each object embedded with meaning which, through a dialogue of proximity with other objects, hatches an multi-layered narrative that is given form through the viewer’s imagination and experience.
Thematically, the exhibition draws on the ancient Chinese story of floating cups of wine down curving streams and composing a formal poem where each cup lands in a collective exchange of ideas. The symbolic relationship between wine and poetry in Chinese culture pivots on the belief that wine dissolves cognitive barriers and opens up the mind to new ideas. This tradition is a trope for Home’s new paintings, which are like a series of floating cups in the gallery space – vignettes of meaning to be consumed by the viewer.