The work: Dean Sunderland, Fingers Crossed. Spray paint, acrylics, oil paste and texture paper on canvas, 61 x 76cm.
Dean Sunderland’s Fingers Crossed is an amalgamation of styles and images that allude to the artist’s early introduction to the graffiti scene. Borrowing imagery from his surroundings in nature and of the busy streets of Melbourne, Dean creates a scene that is a carnival of urban visual references, texture and colour. The energetic patterns and forms that compromise the majority of the collaged background brings the greyscale figures into sharp focus, subtly referencing the disparity between white and non-white culture. “This work was about bringing together a dark skin hand with a white statue, symbolising that maybe one day all people will be treated equally in this mad world we live in,” says Dean. “As for the pelican, I’m actually not too sure why that came into it, I just randomly had the image and wanted to use it in one of my works. I didn’t really have a plan which made it feel more unique.” Dean’s diverse background in studio, abstract and portrait work, digital illustration, and large-scale graffiti works make for an eclectic and complex practice.