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Michael Dayes

Michael Dayes operates in two fields. He is an urban indigenous artist using the drip method. Michael also has had a long spanning career as a business adviser and copywriter in the field of customer acquisition. He was officially titled Male Ambassador for his district shire. This website offers information on Michael's work as an exhibiting artist. To leave Michael's art website and see more about Michael's work in the field of customer acquisition, go to michaeldayes.com

Artist statement

I am an urban indigenous artist using the drip method. The major component of my paintings is the forming and holding of an intent to serve the place and viewer that receives the painting. This is an intense and concentrated act of waiting that takes place for hours or days before paint meets the canvas. The indigenous word for this intent to serve or give that is behind my art: Yungu.

Gallery Representation: Michael is currently exhibiting at Ochre Fine Arts Gallery. Address: 2D, The Corso, Manly,
2095, NSW, Australia Phone +61 2 9976 5825. (The artist does not sell direct to the public and his work can only be purchased through this gallery).

Opposing forces

Long ago in the Dreamtime all the birds were black - all one color. A hunting dove pierced his leg on a stick and all the birds gathered around to see how they could help. All except crow who strolled around at a distance with his hands behind his back. The wound of the dove splashed out colour all over the birds. "Some got dots. Some got stripes. All got colour". All except crow who got no colour at all.

The Yungu series

Acrylic on canvas

112 cm by 153 cm

Opposing forces (below) sold by Ochre Fine Arts Gallery 2D, The Corso, Manly,
2095, NSW, Australia Phone +61 2 9976 5825

Sold price: $5000 

Opoosing forces

 

 

Desert Sands

The Yungu series

Acrylic on canvas

185 cm by 185 cm

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Blood shed

My grandmother spoke more about one trait than any other: Cunning. The story of the spotted cat (jajirdikirli) is about cunning. The spotted cat was on the run from a man eating monster. He transformed himself into a stinging ant, stinging the monster repeatedly, causing pain and disorientation. The spotted cat showed great cunning and became a hero because he saved his community by killing the monster in an epic battle of great bloodshed.

The Yungu series

Acrylic on Canvas

153 cm by 112 cm

Price: $4000 

Blood shed (below) on exhibition and for sale at Ochre Fine Arts Gallery 2D, The Corso, Manly,
2095, NSW, Australia Phone +61 2 9976 5825

Blood shed pic

 

 

Losing streaks

In warlpiri beliefs it is not necessarily the oldest member of the community that is the most respected. It is the elder who has exterted himself the most. Losing streaks is an act of yungu between myself and the viewer. It is also a demonstration of my exertion - something essential in periods of difficulty and loss.

The Yungu series

Acrylic on Canvas

153 cm by 122 cm

Price: $4000 

Losing streaks (below) on exhibition and for sale at Ochre Fine Arts Gallery 2D, The Corso, Manly,
2095, NSW, Australia Phone +61 2 9976 5825

 

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Untitled

The Yungu series

Acrylic on canvas

153 cm by 122 cm

Sold Price: $4000

 

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Dripping wet

The Yungu series

Acrylic on canvas

152 cm by 122 cm

Price: $4000

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Missing story

Within my family there is a missing story. My great grandmother, Bertha Turner, was taken from her indigenous family and billeted out to a house and family in Parramatta. Eventually she married into this family. "Where was she from? Where were her people, her clan?" No formal records have been uncovered. The pattern of family history has been disrupted. This is a repeated theme in indigenous history. Numerous family members have searched but some of the story is missing. So we share what we do know of this story and remain willing to discover more - both as an act of Yungu. 

The Yungu series

Acrylic on canvas

46 cm by 61 cm panels (18)

$500 per individual panel.

Multiple panels sold.

Multiple panels currently for sale at Ochre Fine Arts Gallery 2D, The Corso, Manly,
2095, NSW, Australia Phone +61 2 9976 5825

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Beginnings

The Yungu series

Acrylic on canvas

155 cm by 122 cm

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Aboriginal heritage

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Bertha Turner

Michael Dayes' great grandmother, Bertha Turner, was separated from her Aboriginal family and billeted out to a white family home in Parramatta, Sydney. Here she eventually married into the Turner family. Bertha was highly reluctant to discuss her indigenous origins with her siblings although she was repeatedly questioned. She passed away in 1956. Bertha's guarded position on this issue was maintained by her daughter, Melba Dayes. It was not until Melba passed away did members of the family come forward to share what they knew about the indigenous family heritage. Numerous family members have attempted to investigate the details of Bertha's history including her place of origin. No formal records have been uncovered.     


Michael Dayes' painting studio is at Crosslands Road in Galston, Sydney, Australia. Postal Address: PO Box 13 Galston NSW 2159 Australia. ABN: 88388116758

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Michael Photo

About Michael in brief:

Michael Dayes operates in two fields. He is an urban indigenous artist using the drip method. Michael also has had a long spanning career as a business adviser and copywriter in the field of customer acquisition. He was officially titled Male Ambassador for his district shire. This website offers information on Michael's work as an exhibiting artist.  

 Artist statement by Michael Dayes

I am an urban indigenous artist using the drip method. The major component of my paintings is the forming and holding of an intent to serve the place and viewer that receives the painting. This is an intense and concentrated act of waiting that takes place for hours or days before paint meets the canvas. The indigenous word for this intent to serve or give that is behind my art: Yungu.

The following is an interview from Premium Art Collector insert for Look magazine - the magazine for members of the NSW Art Gallery.

Michael Dayes: Leading the urban indigenous art wave.

So you are an indigenous painter and you are a drip artist - how did this all happen?

I know, it’s an unlikely combination. When I first came to the fine art world saying “I’m indigenous and I’m a drip artist” I was ready to be laughed at. Surprisingly, the professionals on the business side didn't laugh. They liked that I wasn't trying to fit into any mould. I was so shocked!

How did you get started with dripping paint?

Well holding a paint brush feels extremely unnatural to me. Dripping paint on the canvas however, it’s like the paint becomes an extension of me. I love the sound of paint dripping. I love the look of it. It’s completely mesmerising.  

Mesmerising?

Yes. Even when it’s not coming from an artist, I can't stop watching it. I live on the side of a winding road called Galston Gorge. One day a tin of paint leaked out the back of a ute. It left a splattering white trail on the road. I couldn't stop looking at it. This great stillness came over me and time slowed down as I looked and looked.

Is that what this is about for you - creating a mesmerizing effect?

No, not really. If it was about this I would have enjoyed painting for a weekend and ended it there. The most important part of my process is the forming of and holding an intent to serve the viewer of the art. It’s the serving or giving aspect of my process that sustains me. The indigenous term for this is "yungu".

Share with our readers more about the intent - the yungu aspect of your process?

Like a lot of what is going on with me and painting this is something that I feel I don’t have much choice about. I just can’t imagine doing it any differently. So I spend a good slab of time focussing on serving the imagined viewer of the art. Sometimes I move in and out of this intent for days and then at a certain point something shifts inside me and I'm ready to paint. This process always transpires over hours or days. It’s never a little thing I do before painting or a last minute thing. I’ve tried tacking this on and rushing it before I paint. The paintings bomb. With drip art it’s so easy to make an incoherent mess. Lots of people have tried drip art and tell me this.

Is this holding an intent to serve typically an indigenous thing to do when painting?

I'm not the first to do it as an indigenous artist. It’s not commonly spoken about but there have been others that value this. Myers in ‘Painting culture: wrote that he was surprised to discover this first band of contemporary indigenous artists talking about this as they painted out in the Western Desert. I'm not alone on the Yungu aspect of painting. I just happen to be someone who references it

So what about your colour palette? Again this is not what we would expect from an aboriginal artist?

The earthy tones we often see with aboriginal art have a lot to do with the colours of the desert. I'm not living in the desert. I'm in the city. My palette reflects what I see and the colours I love to see. What I love to see eventually ends up on the canvas.

Is it truly about doing what you love or is it about trying to be different - wanting to be contrarian?


Others have said I'm contrarian but I'm not trying to do things differently. For me this is the other side of the same problematic coin. Following the herd or trying to be different: both are controlled. Controlled drip art makes me feel sick in the stomach. Especially my own! When I’m painting well and creating something that I'm happy to put out there in the world, I'm doing neither. It’s not about following blindly and not about pulling against the trend. It’s about finding the actions that are natural. I'm just doing what feels fitting to me. Thankfully enough people seem to appreciate this. That’s all I require so I can get on with painting and sharing my work! {End of interview}

 

About Michael in more detail:

In 2005, Michael Dayes seemed, by outside appearances, to have it all.

He was jointly running the successful creative promotions firm 'Cherry' in Sydney. Michael had formed 'Cherry' with his partner and girlfriend. Together they lived in Wooloomooloo, drove a luxury car and bought investment properties on weekends. The philosophy driving Michael during this phase of his life could be summed up simply: More, more and more.

But every time Michael took the elevator to his office, an uncomfortable feeling welled up within his stomach.

He dismissed these feelings. They grew in intensity, over time.

A series of vivid dreams combined with these uncomfortable feelings led Michael to eventually believe that he was not on a path of true freedom or success. This life of "success" was not all that it was made out to be.

In 2006 the entire life that he was living began to evaporate. The relationship with his girlfriend and business partner Maria went first. The terrace in Wooloomooloo, the BMW, the business and eventually the investments and the inner city lifestyle: They toppled like a slow motion line-of-dominoes.

It was at this time that Michael began painting. He was initially encouraged by the exhibiting landscape artist, Boyd Sanday. Painting remained a hobby while Michael explored part-time healing work in the form of counselling and continued to develop his public speaking.

In 2015, Michael knew intuitively what he had to do: Launch his career as an artist. The category was an obvious choice for him and the fine arts industry. The style of Michaels' paintings, his orientation in art as well as life combined with the fact that he is one eighth Aboriginal all pointed towards one category: Indigenous Contemporary Artist.  

Early influences.

Michael Dayes began his practice of art long before he was painting. At sixteen, as a waterski racer, he let go of all goals in a race at Toukley. The result: He led the highly competitive field with a performance that, for the first time ever, was effortless.

Michael began searching for an explanation and reading everything he could find on this topic of effortless performance. Many books referenced art in their titles and covered a broad range of topics from swordsmanship to tea ceremony and musical performance. The principles of art appeared to be universal. Michael's search for insight in this area has been present ever since.  

At the age of eighteen, an event changed Michael Dayes’s life forever: He endured a high speed, waterski racing fall. One week later, a leading specialist informed Michael that it was likely his right arm would remain paralysed and painful, for the rest of his life. He later learned that his arm could heal and began an extensive healing process.

Three months after this devastating news, Michael commenced his ski race coaching career. His business grew very rapidly.

Two years after his accident, Michael was coaching over thirty ski racers including one third of the Australian team that competed in the World Championships in Belgium. Each of the skiers Michael worked with won medals within the overall standings, including a gold, silver and bronze in each of the ski racers' respective categories.

Australia won these world championships and Michael was offered and accepted the position of Australian Team Coach. He held this position for the next six years.


REd_Phone

      

Phone Michael: (+61) 041 234 2114   

Email michael now.

Postal Address:

PO Box 13 Galston NSW 2159 Australia.

 

ABN: 88388116758