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Alumni in the ANU Art Collection: Dionisia Salas

Alumni students and staff from the ANU School of Art and Design (previously Canberra School of Art and ANU School of Art) are numerously represented in the collection through purchases, generous donations by artists and patrons and through the School of Art and Design’s Emerging Artists Support Scheme. In this series of posts we introduce a selection of alumni artists and their works in the collection, and give a brief insight into their lives and art practices.

Dionisia Salas’  She Eats the Dawn and On Saturday She Ate Salt, 2017, were donated to the ANU Art Collection in 2017. We invited Dionisia to provide some insight into her works in the collection, her connection to the ANU and a little about her current creative life:

My practice is a reflection of my love of making things and an irrepressible urge to engage with paper, colour, canvas. My works start by messing around with materials, making drawings and collages and then of course, getting pulled into deeper, more concentrated pieces. Working with rules of construction, material engagement and layering combine with the magic of colour, pattern and organic line.

Dionisia Salas, On Saturday she ate salt, 2016, oil pastel, screenprint, woodblock and linocut on paper. Donated to the ANU Art Collection, 2017.

She Eats the Dawn and On Saturday She Ate Salt were works made in an enormously stimulating and exciting time. 2016 was the year after the birth of my first child; a year of redefining and chaotic joy, underpinned by a new routine and structure. I was invited by the ANU School of Art and Design to use their printing workshop and talk with the students in the Print Media Department about their work. Through conversations with the students I began to revisit ideas of colour, pattern, positive and negative space and how these elements might work together in a restricted compositional set of rules. She Eats the Dawn and On Saturday She Ate Salt were a part of a series of small works on paper where I was working in condensed amounts of time, on the dining table (as the titles reveal) amidst the pleasure and bedlam of my new life. I wanted the shapes, colours and patterns to reflect this energy but also to rigorously investigate the compositional format I was working in.

I graduated from the ANU School of Art and Design in 2004. Since graduating I have lived in Melbourne and Berlin, working as assistants to artists Katharina Grosse, Judy Millar and Alicia Kwade. I currently live and work in Canberra where I have a studio at ANCA in Dickson.

Instagram: @dionisiasalas

The Drill Hall Gallery acknowledges the Ngunnawal and Ngambri peoples, the traditional custodians of the Canberra region, and recognises their continuous connection to culture, community and Country.