In Conversation ~ Christian Dimick


Interview by Eliza Blamey

Nearly a year ago in May ‘23, you showcased ‘Spilling Heavy Water’ here at Kaukau. What would you say is different about your work now, have there been any poignant changes in your personal or creative journey that have translated into your new work?

Strange to think that was only a year ago, it feels like 5 years ago. There have been some big shifts in my work for a multitude of reasons, whether or not that is evident to other people I’m not sure. I have a studio that is connected to my current flat, so I have been very close to my work for the last few months.

Moving from Pōneke to Tāmaki Makaurau has been a big change and I’m sure will have effected the work. I feel like this body of work is very direct or at least it is trying to be. I don’t feel the same urge to hide myself within the work anymore.

Tell us a bit more about your musical projects. Do you feel there is a natural influence between painting and music? Do you see a convergence of the two?

They are different worlds to me. I feel very lucky to be able to explore both of them. They don’t overlap though, but I think I like it this way.

“When abstraction is working, it is self-evident, and no explanation from the artist or gallerist is needed.” ~ Emil Scheffman adjoining words to ‘Spilling Heavy Water’ [22/4/23]..... What draws you to abstraction?

I think I’ve always been attracted to abstraction and the openness it provides when considering painting. It fills it with potential, but at the same time there is such a rich history of abstraction and painting. Hundreds of years now. This history implies there is a type of painting that is ‘abstract’. So you are tied to all this which is restrictive in a way. My work is extremely improvisatory, so a lot of the time I am not sure what I have done. Often work just appears in front of me, it can be beautiful sometimes, but sometimes very scary because I am not ready. It teaches me so much.

What do you think is the most challenging aspect of self-portraiture? “People say – and I’m quite willing to believe it – that it’s difficult to know oneself – but it’s not easy to paint oneself either.”

I think the development of my ability to paint myself is a direct result of work done outside of the studio. Inner work. Walking with my younger self. I didn’t try to start painting pictures of myself. But the painting didn’t really give me a choice.


View Christian's Collection 'I am learning so much from you'