Johl Dwyer

Johl Dwyer, Colour Tower, 2022

Resin, steel, oil and acrylic. 80 x 80 x 2200mm.

Johl Dwyer approaches colour as another artist might the ready-made. In colour, all elements of the artwork coalesce: concept, process, form, content, space, and affect become unified, while those boundaries that seem most fixed, as between liquid, solid and gas, or the object and its environment, seem to disintegrate.

His stacked cube sculptures are made by curing coloured pigments in resin, a material Dwyer describes as being “as close to ‘nothing’ or ‘air’ as possible” – unobtrusive, that is, but still rife with potential for unpredictable fluctuations and chance effects.

Colour Tower stands in counter to the grey, imposing cell towers that its tall form recalls, structures that disrupt the ecosystems they inhabit, both aesthetically and physically. Dwyer’s work, in contrast, seeks to be an expression of that ecosystem and a monument to its elemental power.

Using a palette of colours selected from the surrounding landscape, the sculpture might appear to have been formed spontaneously by the air itself – by a gulf-wind passing through and miraculously stilled in these cube forms, and with it, primordial motes of light, sea, sky and bush.


Lives and works in Auckland

Johl Dwyer attended Elam School of Fine Arts, The University of Auckland, earning an MFA in 2014. His work combines industrial construction methods and minimalist, geometric forms with alchemical experiments, generating visual effects that seem to distil and concentrate the cryptic phenomena of deep time within his objects.

His recent exhibitions include ‘Screens of a Madman’ (2020) and ‘Dreams of a Chrome T’ (2019), both at Tim Melville Gallery, by whom he is represented. His work is collected by many private and public arts patrons, including the Chartwell Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, and the James Wallace Arts Trust.

Represented by Tim Melville timmelville.com