Brian Dean

Photograph of Brian Dean

UK 1935. Studied art at Stourbridge College of Art & Birmingham University.  Following National Service emigrated to Australia 1960.

Most of my professional life has been involved with teaching in secondary & tertiary institutions, where I eventually headed the Visual Arts dept at QUT.  There, in the former BCAE, I became addicted to lecturing, and drew much inspiration for my own art work from the students I taught – it was very definitely a two-way situation, and not all that uncommon.  I revived stone lithography as a studio practice in Queensland and gradually moved more into this medium as my sole artistic output.  Why?  Perhaps because lithography demands craftsmanship, for which I have a deep respect, and, as an artistic medium, it is richly expressive and immensely versatile.

The subjects of my prints (which, like etchings & engravings, are original works, not reproductions of works in another medium – a perennial source of confusion in the use of the word “print”) have tended to be natural forms which have  impressed me with their intrinsic strength of form and what I call “ïnevitability”.  By this I mean the fact that rocks & clouds acquire their wonderful shapes by virtue of the monstrous forces acting upon them – rocks are ground and weathered over aeons of inexorable geological activity, clouds are battered by powerful winds and huge, towering thermal currents in minutes.  They are the visible, “inevitable” results of these stupendous pressures and tensions;  austerely majestic shapes of great power and beauty – and yet they are everyday occurrences.

The practice of lithography itself echoes some of these characteristics : the use of stones, the importance of chemistry, the application of great pressure provides, in my own case, a fortuitous affinity between subject and medium – something to which I respond with relish.  Perhaps others viewing my prints might share this relish; I hope so.

Although I have occasionally exhibited my work (Grahame Galleries, QUT, UCQ etc) I frankly admit that I work only for myself, and am indifferent to publication.  My print editions are therefore small (sometimes 4 or 5, never more than 25) and of course, very personal”.

A triptych of my lithographs based on clouds won the Redcliffe City Art Gallery’s  “15 artists 2002” acquisitory prize in that year.

Each print is numbered to indicate its place in the edition; eg : 3/5 shows that this print is the third in an edition of five.  The print image on the stone is ground off after each edition is printed and hence cannot be repeated.